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Even millennials should have an estate plan in place

Despite what one's opinion of the millennial generation is, young adults need an estate plan just as much as older adults. After all, no one can predict when they will pass away and no one is guaranteed a long life. It is best to be prepared.

Many millennials work with a budget, especially if they are paying back student loans. Because of this, some may wait until they are older before buying a starter home, and some may also wait to marry or become parents. However, even if a person has a large debt load, does not have children and feels like they do not have much in the way of assets, it is still important to create an estate plan. Unfortunately, according to one survey, nearly 80 percent of individuals in the United States under the age of 36 have not executed key estate planning documents, such as wills or trusts.

Estate planning is important, because even a young person can become the victim of an unexpected accident or illness that renders them incapacitated or takes their life. Therefore, along with a will and trust, millennials may want to execute a living will, a health care advance directive and a durable power of attorney. If a millennial has retirement accounts or a life insurance policy, they'll also need to assign beneficiaries to these assets.

Estate planning is important, because without a will or trust a person's assets will be handed down per state intestacy laws. While it depends on the state, if a person is not married and does not have a child when they pass away, their assets may go to their parents, which, depending on a person's family dynamics, may be undesirable. If a person wants their assets going to a sibling, a friend or a charity, they need to execute the appropriate estate planning documents to make this happen.

As this shows, estate planning is not just for baby boomers or for those in generation X. Even millennials can benefit from creating a solid estate plan. Millennials who have not yet taken these important steps are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney who can help them create a comprehensive estate plan that meets their needs and wishes.

Source: WealthManagement.com, "Engage Millennials in Estate Planning," Jamil G. Daoud, June 19, 2017

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