Millennials often believe that estate planning isn’t necessary—at least, not at this stage of life. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Thinking it’s too early to worry about estate planning, since they have many years ahead
- Assuming that estate planning isn’t important for people who don’t yet have children
- Believing they don’t have enough assets to worry about estate planning
While these assumptions may seem valid at a glance, there are many reasons that young adults without children should take estate planning seriously.
Reasons Millennials Need Estate Planning
Some of the key reasons for a Millennial to meet with an estate planning attorney and construct a solid estate plan include:
Healthcare Proxies and Advance Directives
Even a young, healthy person can be temporarily incapacitated by a car accident, serious illness, or other event. Creating a healthcare power of attorney helps ensure that your wishes are followed, and that someone you trust has decision-making power if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.
Provisions for Unmarried Couples
Millennials are marrying later than previous generations, and that means many are in long-term, committed relationships without the legal protections of a marital relationship. Some of the most common documents employed by unmarried couples include healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney to allow one partner to manage the other’s affairs in the event of incapacity, and wills. Unmarried couples may also want to title property with rights of survivorship, since intestate succession would leave an unmarried partner with nothing.
Not all Assets are Monetary
When people say that they don’t own enough to need a will, they’re usually thinking strictly in terms of money and valuables. But personal property may be far more valuable to your loved ones if you’re no longer with them. If you haven’t created a will and nominated a personal representative, you’re leaving distribution of those items to chance.
You May Have More Assets than You Realize
Many people who believe they have no assets are surprised when they start answering specific questions. For example, maybe you have a 401(k) at work, or some equity in your condominium. Walking through your assets with an experienced estate lawyer will help you identify the assets you should be thinking about and planning for.
There’s No Crystal Ball
We all want to believe that we’ll live long, healthy lives, and for most people, that’s true. But, when the unexpected happens, it pays to be prepared. About one in 1,000 Americans passes away in his or her twenties, and that rate doubles by the time you reach your forties. When you weigh the relatively small investment it takes to create an estate plan against the difficulties your loved ones may face if you pass away unexpectedly, the answer is clear.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you think that you’re too young, too unattached, or too broke to need an estate plan, chances are good that you’re overlooking something. An experienced estate lawyer knows what questions to ask to ensure that you are fully protected
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