Planning for Gen Z Beneficiaries

After a lifetime of building wealth, many people want to leave their hard-earned assets to the younger generations. Ideally, that wealth will last throughout their own lifetimes and beyond—but the world is rapidly changing. If you plan to leave assets to a Gen Z beneficiary, it’s worth understanding their unique relationship with finances before you factor them into your estate plan.

Gen Z’s relationship to finances

Gen Z is comprised of people born between 1997 and 2012. This generation is the first to grow up with the internet, smartphones and social media in their daily lives. As such, many are very technologically savvy, using available technology to educate themselves about everything from finances to pop culture.

Since Gen Z has experienced significant social and economic upheaval in their short lives, they tend to be debt-averse and pragmatic. Many of them are less than confident about their financial literacy.

This generation is uniquely entrepreneurial, often preferring to work independently—and they’re more charitably inclined than previous generations. These broad considerations can help you create estate planning provisions to set them up for success.

Planning for Gen Z beneficiaries

You should always consider the individual beneficiary when creating a trust or including them in your will, of course—but these suggestions, along with help from certified estate planning attorney, James Bart Leonardi, LLC, may inspire creative solutions.

If your beneficiary plans to work for a nonprofit organization, or work independently, consider creating a discretionary lifetime trust with incentive provisions. This allows the trustee to make distributions in the beneficiary’s best interests, or when they meet a specific incentive. For instance, an income-matching provision could allow the beneficiary to work at a lower-income job like teaching, nonprofits, political campaigns or charities. This may allow them to take jobs which align with their values, while still being financially able to purchase a home or travel. Alternatively, you could incentivize pursuing education, including college, grad school, vocational school or even business training courses.

Depending on your beneficiary’s interests and needs, incentive provisions (so long as they’re within the bounds of Ohio law) offer tax and asset protection advantages, while ensuring the funds will benefit them throughout their lives.

Ultimately, however, your specific assets and beneficiaries will dictate which estate planning methods are right for you. When you need assistance updating your estate plan to best serve Gen Z beneficiaries, reach out to certified estate planning attorney, James Bart Leonardi, LLC today.

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