If you’re a millennial, estate planning is probably the furthest thing from your mind. After all, you’re still young. You’re planning for your career, family, business goals and maybe even your retirement. Death probably seems like a highly unlikely possibility.
Thinking about your own passing may not be a pleasant exercise, but it’s too important to ignore. That’s true even if you’re relatively young. While death may not be likely, it does happen. If you or your spouse were to pass away unexpectedly, it could have significant consequences for your family and your financial situation.
The good news is you may not need much estate planning to protect your family and other loved ones. A will, life insurance and other basic planning tools could do the trick. Below are a few issues to address in your estate plan:
Perhaps the biggest objective in any estate plan is to provide for minor children. Specifically, you may want to designate a particular person as guardian for your kids. This is usually done via a will. If you die without a will, the local probate court will make all decisions on your behalf, including who will care for your children. The court may select someone you wouldn’t have chosen yourself.
You also may have life insurance that would go to your children upon your death. Many insurers won’t pay a death benefit to a child. Instead, the benefit may go to a court-appointed guardian, whose wishes may not align with your own. Instead, you could set up a trust on behalf of your children and make the insurance payable to the trust. That way the money would be used the way you want.
Financial and Health Care Decisions
Estate planning is usually targeted toward issues that could arise after you pass away. But you can also use it to address disability or other ailments that prevent you from managing your own affairs. For instance, you could be involved in a dangerous accident or possibly be diagnosed with a severe illness such as cancer. While these types of events aren’t likely, they do happen.
You can use estate planning documents such as a power of attorney or living will to guide decisions on your behalf if you’re ever incapable of making them yourself. These tools could be especially helpful if you’re single or if you have a partner but aren’t married. For instance, your power of attorney can designate a specific individual to make all your financial and health care decisions.
If you’re like many millennials, you have some kind of digital footprint. Maybe you’re active on social media. You almost certainly have email. Maybe you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur and do much of your work online.
If you pass away, your family may need to access your accounts. You can create documents that provide them with specific instructions on who should access which accounts and what login information to use. This could help your family gather needed information and ease the process of settling your estate.
Ready to create your estate plan? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Stoll and Basler Financial Services. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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