Most millennials think they don’t need to get their estate planning documents done because they have not accumulated enough wealth yet. Nothing could be further from the truth. So what are the top occasions that lead Millennials to start estate planning? There are common life events that often trigger a sense of urgency to start the process. According to Trust & Will's annual Millennial study,
34% cited having a child
9% cited buying a home
8% said they had an income or net worth increase
11% were prompted by the death of someone in the family
All of these are significant life changes that make estate planning so necessary. Now let's take a look at five more reasons why you should finish your estate planning documents as soon as feasible.
Don’t Let the Court Decide What Happens to Your Children
If you do not create a Will, the court will decide where your children go. This is something you do not want as a parent at all. It is in your best interest to take the time, think through who would be the best to take care of your children, and then put that in your Will. Don’t leave this up to someone other than you.
Also, similar to this, people love their pets and want to make sure they are taken care of as well. Do not let your furry friends be forgotten about in these documents!
Protect Your Digital Assets
More and more Millennials are investing in digital assets like NFT’s and cryptocurrency– these need to be in your estate planning documents, too. Although a relatively new variable, digital assets are important and have real value that needs to be accounted for.
It is important to name a Digital Executor to ensure the assets are gathered and distributed the way you want them too. Too many people forget to add in their crypto assets to their Will, but it is so important. If no one knows you have them, where they are, what wallet they are on, or how to access the accounts, then they could be lost forever. Avoid this worst possible case by including digital assets in your planning.
Choose Who Makes Health Decisions For You
When you're young and healthy, it can be hard to imagine a world where someone needs to make medical decisions for you. Nevertheless, it’s a reality that most must face at one time in their life. In fact, only 40% of Millennials completed their health care documents in 2021.
This is a huge problem. Not enough people are taking the time to set up and decide who will make medical decisions for them. I know it is not fun to think about or do, but this is a necessity. You want to make sure you are in control of your own destiny and that if something happens, the people you love and trust can make decisions on your behalf.
Pick the Right Person to Handle Your Financial Affairs
If you have some type of event that leads to you becoming ill, who is going to take care of your mortgage, pay your bills, and handle all of the financial decisions that come from this event? You need to choose someone that is responsible and willing to handle all of this for you. This is called your Power of Attorney– a document that gives your friend, family member, or spouse the power to handle all your financial affairs.
This is an extremely important step! If you don't set this up, the courts will have to appoint someone for you which is never quick or inexpensive. Your family will thank you that this is done ahead of time.
Decide How Your End-of-Life Care Looks
This one is as grim as it gets, but many have strong opinions on this matter. You want to decide whether doctors should use extreme measures or not towards the end of your life. Would you want to stay on life support? What do you want to happen to your organs? What do you want your funeral to be like? Do you want to be cremated or have a burial?
These are all huge decisions you need to think about ahead of time and plan for to ensure your life goes and ends the way you want it to. No one else should be making those decisions for you, especially not the courts.
Create or Update Your Estate Plan
As you get older, your life will change and so should your estate planning documents. You may have children, get divorced, remarry, or a number of other things that would require you to update these documents. That is why it is important to review them every few years or so to make sure they are still accurate and up-to-date.
Even though estate planning isn't everyone's favorite topic, it is a necessary one. And if you've been putting it off creating or updating your Estate Plan, no matter your excuse– it's important to prioritize it. After all, your estate planning documents are only as good as the last time you updated them. So take the time to review and update your documents today. It could be the best thing you ever do for yourself and your loved ones.
The good news? You're not alone. Here at Trust & Will, we’re here to help you keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific Estate Plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning options. Get started today!
Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.