Estate planning isn’t reserved for the older generations. Millennials are going through many pivotal life events – marriage, children, home purchases, and career advancements. Pivotal life events necessitate a review of your estate plan. Estate planning is an act of love and responsibility to oneself and loved ones. In particular, consider the following:
1. Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Wealthy.
Many millennials mistakenly believe that estate planning is only for those with significant assets. Estate planning ensures that your wishes are respected and carried out.
2. Consider Digital Assets.
Millennials, being the first digital-native generation, likely have a trove of digital assets: social media accounts, digital currencies, online investments, and more. A comprehensive estate plan should include directives on how to handle these assets.
3. Think About Health Care Directives.
It’s vital to have documents like a medical power of attorney, physician’s directive, and HIPAA Authorization. These designate someone you trust to talk to your doctors and/or make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to.
4. Don’t Forget About Pets!
For many millennials, pets are part of the family. Through a pet trust or simple provision in a will, you can provide for their care if something happens to you.
5. Update Beneficiary Designations.
As life changes (marriage, children, divorce), it’s essential to update beneficiaries on insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets to reflect your current wishes.
6. Understand Student Loan Implications.
Many millennials have student loans. Are they federally-backed or private loans? In other words, are the loans dischargeable upon death or passed to a co-signer? Regardless, it is important to know how student loans may affect your family.
7. Choose a Guardian for Your Children.
If you have minor children, it’s imperative to designate a guardian for them in writing. Without clear guidance, the courts may decide who becomes the guardian.
8. Durable Power of Attorney.
This document appoints someone to act for you in financial or legal matters if you’re incapacitated. Powers of attorney ensure that bills, taxes, and other obligations are met.
9. Start Small and Build.
It’s crucial to have a comprehensive estate plan. Starting with basic documents like a will and powers of attorney can set the foundation. As your assets grow and life evolves, you can amend the plan.
10. Engage Professionals.
DIY estate planning tools might be tempting. The safest course of action is to work with professionals ensures your estate plan is comprehensive, legally binding, and tailored to your needs.
No matter what the future holds, protect your loved ones. Contact us to schedule an appointment!
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