Are you in your twenties or thirties? You've probably heard about the importance of Wills and Trusts by now, but you may feel like you're still too young or just don't have enough assets to warrant any estate planning yet. As an estate planning attorney, I can tell you that it's a huge mistake thinking that estate planning is just for older or wealthier people. The truth is that everyone over the age of eighteen can benefit from estate planning.
As a younger person, your plan may be simple and certainly not as complex as someone who has retired and amassed assets over a career. We have to remember, though, that getting to that stage, or even getting to see tomorrow, isn't guaranteed to any of us. Accidents or unexpected illnesses can happen at any time, and having a plan in place to protect our wishes and what we do have is still necessary for every adult.
Millennials Are Marrying Later… and Bringing Their Own Assets to the Partnership When They Do
It's also important to keep in mind that, unlike previous generations, millennials are marrying later in life and choosing to establish their careers before settling down. By the time they marry, they are often entering into a partnership with assets of their own and must face legal questions about how to best combine “his, hers, and ours.” Often, the solution is drafting a prenuptial agreement or creating trusts that protect premarital assets should the relationship end in divorce. Even if unmarried, millennials still need someone designated to serve as a Power of Attorney or Healthcare Agent who can make decisions in an emergency, as parents lose their rights when their children turn eighteen.
Start-Ups and Small Business Ventures Require Planning, Too
Those born between 1977 and 1995, it turns out, are the most entrepreneurial generation compared to the two generations before, Gen-X and Baby Boomers. If you're an entrepreneur, you need to protect your business interests through operating agreements, bylaws, assignments of interests, and trusts. A carefully thought-out plan can bring peace of mind.
Plan for Digital Assets
Considered the most tech-savvy among the generations currently in the workforce, Millennials have had access to the various stages of technology their whole lives. Therefore, most have accumulated many “digital assets” including photos and videos, apps, social media accounts, electronically stored data, financial accounts, etc., and those assets need protection. An estate planning attorney can help utilize legal tools that protect online real estate and one's digital footprint should something happen.
Leave a Legacy
Many Millennials want to leave a legacy and are often socially conscious of impacts on society and future generations. If you have a desire to make a difference, that can be carried into your estate planning. By utilizing Wills, Trusts, and other legal tools, you can choose to direct gifts or portions of your estate to organizations, foundations, or charities close to your heart.
It's Never Too Early to Start Planning
I cannot stress enough: it is never too early to create your estate plan. Whether your goals are simple or complex, our estate planning attorneys can help you come up with a plan that's right for your needs. If you need assistance, feel free to contact our team at 260-969-1177 and set up your consultation.