In your twenties and thirties, you may wonder whether an estate plan is necessary. After all, you are young, likely healthy, and may not have a lot of savings or property with significant value. Estate plans are largely used to transfer wealth from one generation to another. There are, however, several other uses for an estate plan that can appeal to young people including healthcare powers of attorney and living wills, plans for digital assets, pet trusts or pet care directives, and charitable donations or gifts.
With COVID-19 keeping us all in doors, healthcare is in the forefront of many people’s minds. A living will and healthcare power of attorney will ensure that there is someone who is authorized to speak and act on your behalf if you are too ill to do so. This is an important document for any individual to have, no matter what age.
People in their twenties and thirties, regardless of other life circumstance--like whether they have children--typically have social media accounts. You may not want your social media accounts to live on in perpetuity while the likelihood of being hacked increases over time. You may want your family to be able to access photographs of you on digital platforms and you may not. You may rather have a friend filter out the things that are appropriate for family before deleting your account.
Additionally, you may have bitcoin or other digital currency that your family does not know about or would not know what to do with. In your will, you can identify these assets and accounts and determine how you would like them managed in the event of your death.
Caring for Pets
Pet ownership is very common among young people. Pets can be wonderful additions to our lives, and we generally hope to outlive them, especially when we are in our 20s and 30s. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Having a specific directive in your will, and a trust (if possible), for the care of your pet will ensure that Fido goes to a person who will care for him and not to a shelter or temporary home.
Millennials and Gen Z tend to be supportive of various humanitarian and environmental causes. Perhaps you would rather the money in your estate go to a favorite charity upon your death instead of your family. On the other hand, perhaps you’d rather it go directly to a sibling or niece’s education. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can ensure your assets go to the charity, organization, or person that you want them to.
If you are married or have children, there are additional benefits to an estate plan such as ensuring that your spouse gets all of your property if you’ve been married less than three years or ensuring that you decide who will be your minor child’s legal guardian. If you want to talk more about estate planning with one of our attorneys, please email Natalie Ramm or TJ Lawhon.