Estate Planning for MillenialsDickson Law
When the average person is thinking about their life plan, estate planning is not usually very high up on the list, if at all.
This is the case for many people, regardless of age. However, it may be even truer if you are a millennial because you are young and should have your whole life ahead of you.
The truth is that estate planning is important for everyone. It is common to think that an estate is something that only older people or the wealthy have. It is easy to think that it is an issue that you can put off for years because you’ll live for a long time and you don’t have anything of value right now worth putting into a will.
What is an estate?
Your estate is everything that you own. It is your checking and savings accounts, your cars, personal possessions, furniture, your property and your 401K.
Millennial assets may include:
- Family heirlooms
- Musical instruments
- Collectibles and memorabilia
- Digital assets, social media accounts, websites, photos
- Checking and saving accounts
- Bonds, stocks and investments
- 401K accounts
- Life insurance policy
- Real estate and property
You may not have all of these things but you do have some of them, and these items constitute
your estate. When you add it all up, you may have more assets than you realize.
It is likely you will live a happy life for many more decades, grow old, and eventually look down on the younger generation and remark about how they “just aren’t like kids back in my day”. Hopefully, you will! But, what happens if you don’t have a plan?
If something unexpected should happen to you and you do not have a legal estate plan, there are no guarantees what will happen to your assets (estate).
In this case, decisions will be made by the court system and the government. There are a series of default laws in every state that specifies where your assets will go by default when there is no will or estate plan.
Would you like to decide what happens to your assets and who makes critical health decisions, or would you rather leave that to the courts and the government to decide?
If you'd like the chance to make some of these important decisions, here are two easy steps:
Your beneficiary is a person or legal entity that is entitled to receive the proceeds from your estate, trust, life insurance policy, and 401K.
As a young adult, your life insurance policy and 401k programs may account for the bulk of your assets, so it is important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be a painful process. The most important thing is to begin working on a plan. When planning your estate, you can view it as the first in a series of multiyear plans. Every few years, or after major life changes, your plan can be reevaluated and updated.
You should consult a financial advisor, or an estate planning attorney who can help direct you in setting up a financial plan for your assets. Create an estate plan that suits your needs and have your official documents signed.