For many Californians, estate planning is something they put off. While this is understandable given the subject matter and that it is essentially acknowledging one’s own mortality – something that people are often reluctant to do – it is frequently a mistake. Younger people are especially guilty of failing to adequately plan regardless of their personal and financial circumstances. Still, with recent events highlighting how quickly life can change, people are taking a more serious look at having a will, a trust, special needs planning and more. A recent survey showed that a surprising age group has moved forward with creating at least some form of estate plan: millennials. Understanding the reasoning behind this may give others the impetus to create a plan of their own.
Trust & Will study shows millennials are taking estate planning more seriously
According to Trust & Will, millennials have become increasingly vigilant about estate planning. In its study, more than 20,000 participants expressed their concerns about the future and provided insight into this newfound willingness to craft an estate plan. For many, two issues were at the top of the list: having children and caring for elderly loved ones. Since these two concerns can have serious financial and personal ramifications, it is wise to be adequately prepared for every eventuality with a comprehensive estate plan.
The statistics were enlightening as to how far millennials have come from waiting to have an estate plan to treating it with greater urgency. More than one-third stated having a child was the spark; 22% are caring for children and parents; more than three-quarters have a pet they are concerned about and want cared for if they are unable to do so; 57% are thinking about end-of-life care and want it in certain cases; and 81% decided they would donate their organs after death. The majority – 75% – said they had a will that let them prepare for how their children and pets would be cared for. Nineteen percent created a trust. Much of this stems from the past two years and the difficulties many people have faced as they navigated the new normal and saw family and friends stricken with illness and losing their lives unexpectedly.
Dying intestate or failing to update an estate plan can cause a litany of problems
Intestate means without a will. People who have not created any form of estate plan will leave their loved ones and heirs scrambling to determine how the decedent’s property will be distributed. The laws for intestate succession will not consider what the decedent might have wanted or stated were their preferences if something unfortunate happened to them. It must be completed according to the law. With that, heirs who thought they would receive a property, a business or have a guideline as to how minor children were to be cared for might not get what they were expecting. It is imperative to know the value of an estate plan.