Among the priorities of millennials, estate planning may not be at the top of their “to-do lists.” Many are at the twilight of their educational pursuits. Others are at the dawn of their careers. Some start families. Others are looking to buy homes or travel the world.
Like members of previous younger generations such as baby boomers and Gen Xers, millennials are not thinking about the end of their lives when they are still close to the beginning. For young adults who likely feel invincible, creating last wills and testaments, trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills represents a priority that can wait until their retirement years.
Unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials experienced the economic earthquake that was the Great Recession of 2008 early in their lives. They witnessed first-hand the financial impact on the previous generations.
In addition, they took on student loan debts that created another crisis leaving far too many financially crippled with minimal job prospects. The perspective gained by living in those shadows led many millennials to an awakening of being more financially responsible.
Being careful with money is important, but financial caution is only the beginning. Long-term, proactive steps towards estate planning can provide financial security, for not only millennials, but also the loved ones they will eventually leave behind.
Regardless of age or monetary standing, formalizing the selection of people to oversee financial and personal affairs is paramount. For millennials in particular, they are more tech savvy after being raised in a growingly paperless word. The estate planning process they face is much less labor intensive than previous generations.
By not taking action, they could add to the already 60% of Americans who do not have an estate plan. That troubling number could grow to alarming levels.