As a Millennial, you may wonder, Why would I need to start thinking about an estate plan? It’s too far in the future to have to worry about now. Those born between 1980 and 2000 may claim that they want to savor the present moment more than worrying about the future. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t care about making good decisions for their futures. Here are some questions for the Millennial generation to consider:
Do you love to travel? You are probably planning your next exciting, exotic travel somewhere abroad, whether it is backpacking through the Himalayas or rock climbing in Peru. When you go bungee jumping or skydiving, you have to sign waivers in the event you get seriously injured. What if you do get injured? What if something happens to you? Before you travel, setting up a will can help give you and your family peace of mind.
Do you have pets? If you did hurt yourself somewhere while traveling, or an unspeakable tragedy took place in your own backyard, who would take care of your pets while you get better, or in your absence? Would the caretaker know what to do or how to feed your pet? The law views your pets as property, and only 9% of people with wills actually include their pets to begin with—which means there is a good chance that your pet will end up in a kill-shelters if you don’t set up a plan for them. Pet owners should choose a guardian for their pet and set up a trust to make sure their pet’s needs will be taken care of.
Do you have personal items that have a special meaning to you? Millennials really like vintage items, such as old typewriters, 35mm cameras, vinyl records and old-school clothing. What happens to your belongings if something happens to you? Would they be donated? Given to friends and family? Having a will simplifies this process for your loved ones if they are tasked with managing your personal possessions.
Do you have a digital footprint? Millennials are all over social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In, to name a few. However, there is no federal law requiring a social media site like Facebook to delete an account after someone passes away. How it usually works is the user’s survivors have to show a death certificate to the social media company in order to gain access. This means it could take a while before an account is shut down, and there could be a lengthy period of time where a social media profile is still “active,” even after death. The solution: name a digital executor—someone who can execute your digital estate plan if something should happen to you.
No one wants to plan for their death, but having a solid estate plan in place will help give you and your loved ones a good back-up plan in the event something happens. You will feel better knowing that if a bad situation arises, your possessions, pets, and personal belongings are taken care of.