With all the talk lately about the Me Generation versus Millennials, one thing that both generations seem to agree on more and more is the need to plan their estates. This is not entirely surprising though as Millennials are now buying homes, entering management and C-Level in their careers, caring for their aging family members and, of course, starting their own families. For these Bedford Millennials, it is time to plan their estates.
According to a survey of 23,000 Millennials aged 25 to 44 by Trust & Will, the most common inspiration for beginning estate planning is that they have started a family. Once they get married and begin having kids in Dallas and Fort Worth, planning for their future becomes increasingly important. After all, if one or both parents pass away, the children (and surviving) spouse will still need to survive. This means drafting wills, guardianships, trusts and various other estate planning documents.
Planning for life
The next biggest reason for estate planning that the study found was the death of a family member. Millennials are now experiencing first-hand what happens after a loved one passes, including, unfortunately, what happens when that family member does not have an estate plan. This has driven the importance of estate planning early home for many, but it has also shown that estate planning is not just about planning for after death, but also before death. Specifically, who will make a medical decision, should they become incapacitated, how long they want to be on life support, when to “pull the plug” and any other medical decisions.
Even just the basics can help
Of course, a full estate plan that covers all potential life events, heirs, etc. is the gold standard, but the vast majority of Millennials are opting for a will-based estate plan. These can appoint guardians for children and pets, distribute assets, name an executor and many other things. A will also makes it exceedingly difficult to put strings on inheritances, which can be extremely important for a large estate.
Trusts are often needed to maximize your Texas estate. This is especially true when there are multiple life insurance policies, annuities, investments, etc. and multiple beneficiaries and circumstances where minor children may need care. However, these often require the expertise of financial and legal professionals to ensure they are legally enforceable in our state.