The Importance of Estate Planning for Millennials
Why you need to take proactive steps to protect your best interests
Many millennials, typically individuals born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, mistakenly believe that estate planning is reserved for an older generation. Those in their twenties and thirties often fail to realize the importance of evaluating their financial status and assets and determining how estate planning tools such as wills and trusts can be beneficial even at an early stage in life. This type of thinking can lead to significant consequences when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Recent statistics indicate that millennials are increasingly choosing to focus on career aspirations and save thing like marriage and starting a family until later in life. In line with this trajectory, young people often assume that estate planning is more appropriate once they have kids or accumulate extensive assets. However, taking proactive steps to protect your best interests and plan for the future is the best way to ensure that there are no unexpected surprises or conflicts in the event of death or incapacitation. Tragedy can strike at any time and failing to designate a beneficiary or healthcare surrogate of your own choosing can lead to devastating consequences.
In the event that you are no longer mentally capable of making important decisions regarding your healthcare or finances, a validly executed will, durable power of attorney or healthcare surrogate can step in and make sure your wishes are carried out as you determine. However, if you do not have proper estate planning documents in place, the court may be forced to intervene and appoint a guardian. Additionally, if you die without a valid will, the entirety of your estate may be distributed according to Florida intestacy statutes. Typically, your estate goes to your spouse if you’re married and your parents if you’re single. Unmarried and same sex couples do not have the same protections under the law and must take extra steps to ensure that partners are included in an estate plan.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are increasingly used by millennials for both social and business matters. If you become incapacitated or pass away, all of your accounts may be locked and inaccessible for your loved ones. Extensive and costly litigation is often necessary to determine who is granted access once you are no longer able to control your social media accounts. It is important to include social media in your estate plan to ensure to eliminate potential hurdles for your loved ones.
It is vitally important for millennials to understand your options when it comes to estate planning and the best ways to protect your future. At Kitroser, Lewis & Mighdoll, our highly-skilled North Palm Beach Florida estate planning attorneys provide the resources and advice you need to make the best decisions based on your particular circumstances. If you have questions about wills, trusts or any other estate planning tools, contact us online or by telephone at 561-721-0600.