Millennials are edging out baby-boomers as the new “sandwich generation” who are raising a family while caring for an elderly loved one. And, as one study shows, millennials are increasingly opting to execute an estate plan.
The study by the estate planning platform Trust & Will gathered data from 22,850 individuals between the ages of 25 to 44. It found that 75% of respondents reported having a will-based estate plan. Oftentimes they included a guardian for minor children and pets in their will, as well as documenting their health care wishes and final arrangements. The millennials who reported having an estate plan were not necessarily wealthy. Of the respondents, 71% had a net worth under $500,000. The reasons for estate planning included becoming parents, the death of a loved one or purchasing a home.
Estate plan basics: what to include
There are some basic estate planning documents adults of any age should consider executing. Of course, most people are familiar with the basic will. In a will you can leave an inheritance to your chosen heirs, as well as name a guardian for your minor children in the event that you pass away before the child is grown. That being said, wills must go through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, some people opt for a trust. You retitle your assets in the name of the trust and designate beneficiaries who will inherit the trust funds. You can put conditions on trusts if you wish.
When it comes to health care and end of life issues, you will also want to consider a health care power of attorney, a financial power of attorney and a living will. A health care power of attorney allows you to name a person who will make health care decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so on your own. A financial power of attorney allows you to name a person who will handle your finances should you be unable to do so on your own. A living will allows you to dictate what kind of end-of-life care you wish to receive, for example, whether you want CPR performed or whether you want to be put on life support.
Estate planning can be a simple or complex as you like. The important thing is to start early. Your estate plan can change and evolve as you age. Even young adults in Stuart have many good reasons to consider estate planning.