The Millennial generation is growing up. The oldest in that age group are now well into their 30s, and the youngest in their mid-20s. That means it’s definitely time for them to start thinking about their estate plans.
While it is true that you can make your estate plans at any point in life, there’s no better time to do so than the present. There are many reasons why the right time is now if you’re a Millennial.
How many young adults have estate plans?
Data published by Gallup in 2016 indicates that a declining number of Americans age 30 or younger have drafted wills. Their statistics showed how only 14% of this population admitted to having wills in 2016 compared to 24% in 2005.
Another study published by Caring.org in 2017 suggested that while only 36% of Gen X-ers had wills, only 24% of Millennials had their wills in place — which is a worrisome trend.
What estate planning documents should everyone have in place?
While there are many estate planning vehicles at your disposal, there are two that everyone should have:
- Wills: A last will and testament should be top on your list, regardless of your assets. You can nominate someone to become the guardian of your minor children. You can include your personal wishes for what you’d like to happen with your assets, whether they have monetary or sentimental value, in this legal document. It has become increasingly popular for Millennials to list what they want to happen with their digital assets, including credit card points, photographs, and social media accounts when they pass away.
- Powers of attorney: Another document that you should have is a health care proxy. It involves you appointing someone else to make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. You may also want to have a living will that outlines what medical choices you’d want your appointee to make in the event of your incapacitation. Similarly, a financial power of attorney can allow someone to pay your bills and handle your other business affairs if you’re unable to do so on your own. Is it time to take estate planning seriously?
While versions of these legal documents might be easily accessible online, you shouldn’t use them. Without proper legal advice, your documents may not accurately state your wishes or may not be legally-binding. An estate planning attorney in Richmond can help you draft these documents correctly so that they stand up in a Virginia court of law.