The Millennial Generation is at the beginning of its adult life, and many Millennials are far more concerned about starting careers, buying homes, paying off college, and starting families than they are about planning their estates. Many believe that it’s too soon to start thinking about estate planning because they are young and healthy. At a bare minimum, even young adults should have a legally binding Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate Designation and a Last Will and Testament in place, and should have those documents reviewed periodically, because circumstances change over the course of a lifetime.
Plan Against The Unexpected
More than either their parents’ or grandparents’ generations, Millennials tend to prefer active and adventurous travel, often to more exotic locations. Before you head off to Bali for your trip of a lifetime, consider leaving travel insurance documentation in the hands of the person you want making emergency decisions for you, along with your power of attorney, health care surrogate designation, and a simple will. You never know when that diving trip may take a turn for the worse, and it’s better to have an unneeded plan than to have a problem and no plan in place.
Think About Your Pets
Financial assets aren’t the only things you need to plan ahead for, in case something happens to you. Do you have arrangements made for someone to take care of your pets if you’re incapacitated, or if you die unexpectedly? Does that caretaker have access to your home in case of an emergency? Do they know where to find your pet’s supplies and belongings, and where to reach your vet? Planning for the temporary or permanent care of your pets could make the difference between them living their lives out in a loving home and having them end up in a high-kill shelter if something were to happen to you.
What Happens To Your Digital Life?
Millennials have far greater digital presences than any previous generation. Because the development of legal standards regarding digital presences lag far behind the growth of those presences, it’s anything but clear what should be done with people’s social media accounts and websites when they die. It’s another perfect example of why Millennials need wills at an earlier age than their parents and grandparents ever did. Include an inventory of your accounts and sites in your estate plan, designate a caretaker, and make your wishes known. Certain media, like Facebook, allow you to appoint someone to take your account over in case of emergency, but others would require you telling your designee how to log in and what you want them to do with each account.
Items Of Sentimental Value
You may not be wealthy, but you probably have items that are rich in sentimental value that you’d like to go to people who will appreciate them, rather than a charity shop after you’re gone. You also don’t want friends and family squabbling over these things. It may seem silly to make an inventory of such things and list beneficiaries for them in a will, but you should. You might even consider working on a personal description of each item over time, so the eventual recipient will read in your own words why you consider the item a treasure and why you wanted them, in particular, to have it.
Millennials Need Wills & Estate Plans
For people who are just starting out and don’t have major assets and complicated family ties, estate planning with an experienced attorney can be a surprisingly affordable step. The attorneys at Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie, Finkenbinder & Bondy can help you make your first will and estate plan, and review it for you as your life, finances, and family change in the future. Call or contact us online for a consultation. “Adulting” can be a challenge, but we can help you establish a solid estate plan for a firm foundation.