Millennials absolutely need estate planning. Their youthfulness seems to belie the need to consider such an “old person” topic. Millennials are described as physically active, health-conscious, tech-savvy, independent, entrepreneurial, and socially conscious. However, many have also watched parents and older family members struggle from the Great Recession, and are keenly aware that life doesn’t always go smoothly. Intentional consideration and basic estate planning can go a long way in avoiding or minimizing the damage of life’s surprises, and it’s never too early to do that.
Estate planning should be considered a fluid life-long process that periodically needs a bit of extra attention to align with current needs. Some specific reasons why millennials would benefit by early planning include:
- Increased job and location mobility, preference for online financial transactions, and postponing marriage until later in life, which make it less likely that those close to a millennial are aware of details regarding their health history, financial assets, and other personal information;
- Millennials have more digital assets than any previous group, which require special treatment in estate planning documents;
- A significant percentage of millennials own their own businesses, which poses unique estate planning challenges;
- Millennials are associated with more physically challenging and high-risk activities than previous generations, which could lead to early and unexpected physical incapacity or death;
- Typical government “default” inheritance plans probably don’t meet the intentions of most millennials;
- Parents of millennials are usually baby boomers, a wealthy generation, many of whom will ultimately transfer their wealth to their children.
Every generation has specific reasons to address estate planning. Ultimately, estate planning is for everyone regardless of age, because the issues addressed affect everyone and every age group in some way.
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