Estate planning is often associated with older generations, especially those with major assets. As a Millennial, you might not have the same sense of urgency. While the basics of estate planning apply to everyone, Millennials face unique challenges and considerations.
Here are some key issues for Millennials to keep in mind:
- Marriage and cohabitation: Millennials are more likely to cohabit than previous generations. While marriage provides legal protections, unmarried couples can use estate planning to grant each other rights and benefits typically afforded to married couples. This includes medical and financial decision-making authority, inheritance rights and more. Creating advance directives and other legal documents can help secure these rights.
- Caring for elderly parents: Millennials may find themselves responsible for caring for aging parents who need assistance or financial support, whether or not they have children of their own. Discussing your parents' financial situation, expectations for inheritance and their preferences can help you prepare for potential caregiving responsibilities.
- Digital assets: Millennials have a significant presence in the digital world, making digital asset planning vital. A digital estate plan should include a list of your digital assets, access instructions and who should manage them after your passing. Keep this plan updated to account for changes in passwords and online account rules. This is especially important if you own Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, which could be lost forever if you don’t leave access information.
- Organ donation: Consider specifying your organ donation wishes to potentially save lives through organ donation or contribute to scientific research. Make sure your preferences are clear to avoid leaving this decision to relatives during a difficult time. Your estate planning attorney can help you draft healthcare powers of attorney, advance directives and other necessary documents.
- Children: For those who are or plan to become parents, one of the most critical aspects of estate planning is choosing a guardian for your child. In the event of your unexpected passing or incapacity, a legally enforceable guardian designation in your last will ensures that someone you trust will care for your child. Be sure to review and update your plan regularly.
- Pets: Finally, you can make arrangements for their care in your estate plan. Creating a plan for your pets, which could include a trust, ensures that your animals will be looked after.
Although Millennials have distinct estate planning considerations, working with a qualified estate planning attorney can help you prepare for the future. Reach out to James Bart Leonardi, LLC today to get started.