Estate planning can be an uncomfortable and confusing topic for many people. Nobody necessarily likes thinking about what will happen when they die. However, estate planning is an important activity for adults to consider, even those in their 20s and 30s. A recent article from USA Today highlights the need for millennials to consider estate planning as part of their plans as they move forward. In fact, the article cites a 2015 study that found more than 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will. This number likely includes a disproportionate number of millennials.
Responsible Financial Planning
Responsible, comprehensive financial planning doesn’t just involve being good with money. In the still-lingering shadow of the most recent recession and with an increased potential to carry large amounts of student loan debt, it isn’t uncommon for millennials to have a sense of the importance of treating money responsibly. However, while short-term money management can provide the foundation for a lifetime of financial stability, it is important to keep long-term financial planning in mind, too. Long-term financial planning includes the creation of a comprehensive estate plan that includes documents such as a Last Will and Testament, power of attorney, trust, and/or other related financial planning documents. As the article notes, these things are not just important for older adults – but for everyone.
Estate plans are even more important for families with children. For millennials that have children, and for those that don’t fall into the millennial category but have children, estate plans can be a crucial part of ensuring that your children are taken care of after you die. Not only can they help provide for the financial well0being of your children, but you can also use estate plans to appoint a guardian for your children in case of your death. This can be a concern not only for small children or children under the age of 18, but also for older children that have special needs and may require long-term care.
Tackling Estate Planning
The first step in estate planning is starting to think about estate planning. Once you understand its role in you and your family’s financial future, you can start to think about how you might want your estate plan to look. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney when you decide to engage in estate planning can help you create a more comprehensive picture of the strategies that might best work for you in your current situation. It is important to understand that much like your life can change immeasurably in only a year, so can your estate planning goals. Estate planning is not a one-time effort, and effective estate planning requires you to revisit your estate plan whenever a significant change in your life occurs. Maintaining a relationship with an experienced estate planning attorney can be an important part of sound financial planning even in your 20s and 30s.