Estate Planning: Millennials, This One's For You
A big thank you to our co-author, Justin Marti for his contributions.
You don’t typically hear the terms “millennial” and “estate plan” in the same sentence, as wills and trusts are often associated with the “wealthy” or the elderly. However, the interpretation of the term “wealthy” is quite subjective and can vary widely according to who you ask. Some folks may associate wealth with having millions of dollars, while others may view the same term as merely having a roof over your head. Whatever your definition, what is more important is the realization that creating an estate plan isn’t just about transferring large assets in preparation for death. Rather, estate planning is - as the name says - all about creating a plan...something that most of us unfortunately don’t have. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Planning ahead doesn’t have to be a grievous topic: think of it as taking care of your loved ones and maintaining control over your ability to make decisions about your life while you still can.
Why You Need A Plan Now No Matter What Your Age
It is important to note that estate planning doesn’t just pertain to planning in the event of your untimely demise, but rather cultivating a strategy should you become incapacitiated and unable to tend to your affairs. A plan can provide for your children or parents or home or pets or Pokemon collection or…well, you get the idea. Yes, it is a morbid thought that most of us don’t want to consider, but for some, it’s the unfortunate reality with which they are faced. When you turn 18, your parents or guardians no longer can make decisions on your behalf regarding your medical care. It’s critical to have a living will or trust in place so that if you were ever to become incapacitated or unable to communicate, you can dictate how you’d want your affairs handled and who you’d want in charge. Without such a document, courts and state law will dictate the handling of your affairs, and doctors will look to your closest family members to make difficult decisions, which may not account for what you’d actually want.
You May Have More Assets Than You Realize
With a worldwide pandemic resulting in many people looking for ways to adapt and make varied streams of income, there’s much more to be considered in this new age. Earning money is no longer restricted to your 9-5 job, but rather it has expanded to the likes of PayPay, Robinhood, BitCoin, Venmo and beyond. Society, particularly those 40 and under, are pivoting their traditional 401Ks to these cutting-edge platforms at warp speed, yet they still tend to be overlooked when accounting for an individual’s assets. Without including a plan that allows your most trusted family and friends to access your E-Trade or Coinbase account, those funds are gone to the state or internet for good. That vintage car or baseball card collection? Forever forgotten. The list goes on and the states have made a fine living off of these assets and funds that “escheat” (a fancy term that means it’s the government’s now, not yours or your family’s). No matter how little or how much is maintained in your accounts, having a trust or a will in place allows you to ensure that these funds, heirlooms and other assets go to your family or friends instead of to Uncle Sam.
If you live in Massachusetts or Connecticut and are looking to prepare for your future, contact us at (860) 552-7770 or email@example.com for a free consultation so we can help you protect your assets, your loved ones, and your ability to make decisions before it is too late.