Estate and Legacy Planning for Millennials: You Don’t Need a Million Dollar Estate to Start Planning

Aug 7, 2017

Most people think about legacy and estate planning as something someone does in their golden years. And it’s no wonder – turn on the television and surely you’ll see commercials marketing estate planning services featuring older individuals and couples – but very rarely do you see millennials in these advertisements.

And there’s a reason for this. For millennials, sometimes this is a hard concept to grasp – they’re worried about making car payments and paying off student loans, not about planning for something they can’t see in the foreseeable future.

This is a mistake. Why? Because life happens, and sometimes, life throws you major curveballs – no matter how young or old you are, or how many assets you currently have. Additionally, estate planning doesn’t always involve a million dollar home, investments and trust funds and other components normally associated with planning. Sometimes, it’s simply about who will care for your pets if something happens to you or deciding what happens if you become terminally ill and not able to make your own healthcare decisions.

Bottom line, it’s never too early to start estate and legacy planning. Below are just a few things to consider now, regardless of where you stand financially.

Power of Attorney and Living Will Declaration

When you’re young, the last thing on your mind is what would happen if you became sick or were in a life-threatening accident. Nothing is more devastating than hearing about a young adult not having his or her wishes fulfilled, or worse, having a partner who is denied authority to make healthcare decisions on that person’s behalf. That’s why regardless of age, it’s imperative to have a living will declaration and healthcare power of attorney. Both are designed to ensure your directives are followed and a person you choose is appointed to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you can’t make them yourself. Without these, your best interests may not be represented.

Taking Care of Your Pets

When Star Wars actress and writer Carrie Fisher died suddenly last December, she had nothing in her will that stated who would care for her beloved dog, Gary. Thankfully, her assistant adopted him, but for many, this may not be an option. Providing a solid plan for the care of your pets in your will is highly recommended, to help ensure your best friend is cared for in the event something happens to you.

Taking Care of Your Children

While many millennials are choosing to wait to have children, those that are parents need to seriously consider what would happen to their kids if they were in an accident that left them incapacitated or dead. Wills and trusts allow the parent to nominate a guardian to care for their child in the case of a sudden accident or death. Before nominating someone, it’s always a good idea to discuss your request with the person to ensure they agree and support your decision.

Happily Unmarried: Protecting Your Mutual Investments

More and more millennials are choosing to make a life with their partners without marriage, sharing bank accounts, purchasing a home together, and sharing investment plans. However, if something happens to a partner or the relationship fizzles, that could cause major legal problems. While it’s not exactly romantic, it’s smart to ensure proper documentation is in order on all shared investments, and advisable to speak to an attorney about what would happen to these assets in the event of death or separation.

It’s never too early to start planning for life’s inevitable curve balls, and estate planning not only ensures your wishes are followed and you’re protected, it also gives you and your loved ones peace of mind – and shows you’re always thinking ahead of that curve.

Your Estate Planning Experts: Martin & Drought, P.C.

No one likes to think of the unthinkable, but having a solid estate plan in place should be a number one priority for everyone. At Martin & Drought, P.C., our attorneys specialize in estate and legacy planning, trusts, living wills and power of attorney declarations, ensuring peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Call our San Antonio estate planning attorneys today or visit us online to request more information.