If you ask a millennial to jot down a list of his or her priorities in life, the line items would probably be graduation, if applicable, followed by career and something like travel, vacation or “new global experiences.”
Marriage, family and home buying would likely be located further down the list, if at all. Estate planning maynot show up anywhere, but are millennials missing the boat here?
Careers are top of mind
The Silicon Valley is a good example of millennial energy. It buzzes with young, ambitious people who are pursuing their careers in a variety of fields. Many are still dealing with the burden of student loan debt. They work hard and play hard and at this point in life, there may not appear to be room for much else. However, millennials accumulate assets—everyone does. It could be a wine collection, a pet bull dog or a vintage car, but it is still an asset. What becomes of the wine collection, good old Rover or that ’57 Chevy you inherited from your grandfather if you should pass away?
Why an estate plan is important
In addition to your will, which specifies your wishes as to who inherits what assets, a good estate plan should include documents such as a healthcare directive and a durable power of attorney. For example, if you become incapacitated, your doctors will know how you want them to manage your care. If you have a domestic partner, he or she will be given the legal right to oversee your estate. If you have a child someday, you can name a guardian who will care for the child in the event of your death.
How to go forward
The point is, an estate plan allows you to decide what happens after you pass away. Otherwise, the court will take charge, and its decisions may not be what would have met with your approval, had you survived. As a millennial, you are probably a very busy individual, and end-of-life matters seem very far away. However, you cannot predict what will happen in the future, which is why it is a good idea to have a plan in place in case the unexpected occurs.