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My Millennial Kids Don’t Get Estate Planning. How Can I Help Them?

MP900422593Ask almost any millennial if they’ve thought about estate planning or having a will, and chances are they’ll tell you they don’t need it, don’t want it and can get it online.

Boomer parents of millennials are trying to get their adult kids to understand the importance of having an estate plan, especially those who are married with young children. The gift of a plan created by an estate planning attorney, may be the best way to educate the kids, while protecting them and beloved grandchildren.

As Forbes explains in its recent article, “The Estate Planning Gift To Give Your Millennial Children In 2019,” Boomers entering their 60s and 70s are more focused than ever before on managing their family legacies. The 2018 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth Study found that 67% of those over 50 want to use their wealth to invest in their children and grandchildren. Boomers who’ve managed their finances successfully, want to be sure their hard work doesn’t go to waste.

The challenge, however, is that Boomers can’t control all aspects of their financial lives. One complaint they have to their estate planning attorneys, is that their kids aren’t doing the things that they ask. Gen Xers and Millennials may see estate planning as a very low priority. Most are burdened by heavy debt and trying to get their day to day financial lives on the right track. Nagging parents might make them resist this type of advice.

There is one thing Baby Boomers can do to make certain their children do the right thing when it comes to estate planning—they can make a gift of estate planning to their adult children.

However, before Boomers do this, they should think about several issues to put their family on the path to success. Family dynamics can be challenging, and family patterns are often hard to break.

Parents who want to offer to pay for an adult child’s estate plan, should consider how best to broach the issue. A wrong start could torpedo the wrong situation and end in a family drama. Timing is crucial for these discussions. The assistance of your estate planning attorney can smooth the way for a successful approach. He can outline the process for everyone to feel that they have a voice.

The advice for Boomers making this type of gift is quite simple: these conversations need to be more intentional in the why and the how. Boomers must also respect boundaries, once the estate plan is completed. They may have paid for the estate plan, but that does not mean they’re entitled to see the child’s documents. The burden of enforcing this parameter falls to the estate attorney.

Invite your kids to a family meeting with your estate attorney. That could be a perfect way to introduce them to the process and concepts of an estate plan.

Reference: Forbes (December 12, 2018) “The Estate Planning Gift To Give Your Millennial Children In 2019”

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