If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you’ve probably heard about the importance of creating Wills and Trusts… but maybe you think you’re too young for estate planning or that you don’t have enough assets yet to justify putting a plan in place. But, Westlake Village estate planning attorneys will tell you that it is a huge mistake to think that estate planning is just for old people or those who have amassed large estates already. The reality is that estate planning is for everyone over the age of 18.
While a young person’s plan may not be as complex as someone who is getting ready to retire and has amassed a lot of assets over a long career, it’s never too early to plan for your future because tomorrow is not promised, and accidents or unexpected illness can occur at any time. Here are some specific reasons why the millennial generation should think twice about putting off estate planning:
Millennials Are Getting Married Later Than Previous Generations
Unlike older generations, the majority of millennials today are choosing to delay marriage in pursuit of establishing a successful career. As such, many millennials eventually enter marriage with assets they’ve already accumulated from their time working. We are often asked by millennials what to do when faced with the task of combining “his, hers, and ours.” The answer to this question is usually solved with an estate plan that might include a prenuptial agreement or trusts designed to protect pre-marital assets in the event of a divorce. Unmarried millennials also need to appoint someone who can serve as their Power of Attorney or Healthcare Agent, as parents lose the right to make decisions for their child once he or she turns 18.
Millennials are Strongly Inclined toward Entrepreneurship
Americans born between 1977 and 1995 are the most entrepreneurial generation yet as compared to both Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1976), according to a recent study. As entrepreneurs, it is essential for millennials to protect their business interests through properly drafted operating agreements, bylaws, assignments of interests, and trusts. And, with a carefully thought-out estate plan, millennials can have the peace of mind knowing that his or her entrepreneurial venture will stay safe and in good hands if something unexpected happens.
Millennials Have Digital Assets
Millennials are considered the most tech-savvy among the generations in the workplace. For millennials, computers, smartphones, and the Internet have been indispensable tools of life. The majority of millennials have accumulated a great number of digital assets, which include photos and videos, apps, content on social media accounts, electronically-stored data, financial accounts, etc. Because of this, digital assets need to be protected, which is an issue that never occurred for the older generations. An estate planning attorney can help millennials utilize legal tools to protect their “online real estate” and digital footprint in the event of incapacity or death.
Millennials Want to Leave a Legacy
Millennials are legacy-conscious and stay plugged into social causes that impact society and future generations. The desire to make a difference can be carried into estate planning, where millennials can utilize legal tools like wills and trusts to direct specific gifts or a portion of their estate to any organization, foundation, or charity that is close to their hearts when they are gone someday.
Again, it’s never too early to create an estate plan. No matter what your needs or goals are, our Westlake Village estate planning attorneys are here to help. If you’d like assistance getting started, please contact our law firm at (805) 409-3878 to set up a consultation.