It’s a common response to a concerned parent: the millennial says they don’t need an estate plan. After all, they are young, and life is long. However, as older people know, unexpected events happen.
It was about a year ago that a tragic shooting took the lives of 58 people in Las Vegas, many of them in their 20s and 30s. Chances are that very few of them thought they needed any kind of estate plan, and as a result, few of their families or friends knew what their final wishes would have been. Sadly, their wishes died with them, said Think Advisor in the article, “Yes Millennials DO Need Estate Planning.”
There were probably a lot of families that didn’t know if their loved one wanted to be buried or cremated or what they would have wanted for funeral arrangements. They didn’t know who should receive what assets. Perhaps these young people had best friends that should have been remembered to help them ease their grief.
All young adults must think about creating an estate plan. Here are a few simple steps that could save their families a lot of pain, if the worst happens.
- Work with an estate planning attorney to draw up a will to create a plan for your belongings—who will inherit what, both financial and personal. You should also remember your virtual assets, such as your iTunes and social media accounts.
- Create a list of your usernames and passwords to all your financial and personal accounts. Make certain that your family knows about it and has access, if it’s online.
- If you have a 401(k) and company-sponsored life insurance, be sure to name beneficiaries on these accounts to avoid probate.
- Ask your bank for a payable-on-death (POD) account. This lets you name a beneficiary, keeping the account out of probate.
- Designate a durable power of attorney and health care proxy, which let others make financial and medical decisions for you, if you become incapacitated. If you want to give your proxy specific instructions, create an advance directive, also known as a living will.
For those who think that estate planning is only for the wealthy or for the elderly, think again. Estate planning provides families with clarity during a time of grief and allows anyone over the age of 18 to express their wishes. It’s not something you expect to need until you marry, when you have children, or when you are preparing for retirement. However, everyone needs an estate plan, as tragedy, illness and accidents can occur at any time, at any age.
Reference: Think Advisor (December 11, 2018) “Yes Millennials DO Need Estate Planning”