The Millennial Approach to Estate Planning

Millennials, seasoned planners amidst economic upheavals, often contemplate estate planning but face significant knowledge gaps. In this year's study, we explore their priorities and barriers in the current financial climate.

Financial planning in changing landscapes

Amidst rising prices and interest rates, Millennials are scrutinizing their finances more closely than ever before, with 81% acknowledging a heightened awareness of their economic realities. Despite diligent savings efforts, many Millennials face barriers to homeownership due to soaring property prices and mortgage rates, compounded by low housing supply.

A staggering 55% of Millennials surveyed express frustration at being unable to purchase property, with many stating they may never own a home. This sentiment poses significant implications for intergenerational wealth transfer. 

Strains of the sandwich generation

Financially, Millennials navigate a complex landscape, with some relying on parental support—27% received contributions when purchasing homes—while others find themselves in the position of supporting their aging parents. A significant portion (39%) fall into the "sandwich generation," shouldering the responsibilities of caregiving for both children and parents.

This dual role strains finances further, with 58% acknowledging its impact on their ability to pass on wealth, despite 74% expressing a desire to do so. Notably, estate planning motivations for Millennials often stem from parenthood, with 73% of Trust & Will's Millennial members in 2023 having children.

Bonus: Insights for Financial Advisors

Amidst economic turbulence, Millennials demonstrate a proactive approach to estate planning, with 48% expressing interest in financial advisors' assistance. Notably, Gen Z leads with 32% prioritizing financial advisor inclusion in their 2024 or 2025 financial goals. Family influence plays a significant role, with 28% preferring advisors trusted by their parents.

This familial trust signifies an opportunity for advisors to bridge generational gaps and initiate crucial conversations around estate planning, unlocking a growing market eager for professional guidance. As younger generations actively seek financial advice to navigate economic uncertainty, advisors evolve into trusted navigators with ample opportunities for tailored services and educational initiatives.

Download the Financial Advisor Edition of our study below!

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Commonly asked questions

How do Millennials view the importance of passing down wealth to the next generation?
According to the study, 74% of Millennials consider it important or very important to pass down wealth to future generations. This reflects a strong desire among Millennials to establish financial legacies despite facing various economic challenges.
How do Millennials utilize technology, such as AI, in their estate planning process?
When asked about using AI or chatbots to help write a Will, approximately one in three Millennial and Gen Z respondents expressed likelihood, compared to only 19% of Boomers. This indicates a generational difference in embracing technological solutions for estate planning tasks.
What are some of the top songs requested by Millennials for end-of-life commemorations?
Among the top songs requested by Millennials in 2023 are timeless classics like "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, and "Let it Be" by The Beatles. Additionally, contemporary hits such as "I was Here" by Beyoncé and "Imagine" by John Lennon are also popular choices.
What were the top charities donated to in 2024?
The top charities donated to by Millennials included organizations such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Best Friends Animal Society, The Nature Conservancy, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The average gift amount was $37,519.
How do Millennials approach end-of-life preferences?
With 50% preferring cremation, Millennials strike a balance between Gen Z and Boomers. Additionally, 8% opt to donate their bodies to science, reflecting a shift towards altruism. Moreover, 41% express a preference for memorials over traditional funerals, while 30% entrust trustees with end-of-life decisions, showcasing a blend of pragmatism and personalization in their planning.