Establishing a plan for your eventual passing is not something that often comes to mind when thinking about the future. A recent study showed that 58% of baby boomers and 81% of those 72-years of age and older already have estate planning documents. For millennials, defined as those born between 1982 and 2004, 78% do not have such a plan. Younger members of society should know that failure to prepare can create serious and unexpected consequences for your loved ones.
Millennials have a great deal going on in their daily lives. Among other things, many are entering the workforce for the first time, trying to establish their professional identities, thinking about purchasing a home, and starting families. However, it is because these life events are occurring that taking the time to map out the future is essential. Without an estate plan in place, one can easily lose control over the most important decisions, such as who assets go to, who would become a guardian for your children or make medical and financial decisions should something unexpected occur.
Fortunately, an estate plan will help address those issues. Planning an estate typically includes creating a last will and testament, financial power of attorney and a living will/healthcare power of attorney. A last will and testament, financial power of attorney and a living will/healthcare power of attorney are legal documents which protect personal decisions and property during life and after. A power of attorney can provide authority to handle personal financial business and make healthcare decisions on your behalf. An estate planning attorney prepares these documents to address specific concerns and protect personal interests.
If you are a parent to a millennial, consider discussing such topics with your children. In the event of an illness or emergency and without a power of attorney, a parent could potentially find themselves in front of a judge petitioning for guardianship. Your children will always be your children, but the ability to have control over their interests and access to information relating to them slips away when your child becomes an adult. Taking the time to prepare now can protect your assets while also saving your family from dealing with uncomfortable situations.