Estate Planning Essentials for the Millennial Generation

Estate Planning is Essential for Millennials, Providing a Means to Distribute Assets Via Wills or Trusts And Ensuring Financial Assistance for Loved Ones After the Individual’s Passing in Eatontown, Wall, Howell, and Other Towns in New Jersey

Millennial Estate Planning Facing the Future in Freehold, New JerseyFollowing World War II, researchers have characterized generational spans, for example, Boomers born within the 19 years post-World War II. Two generations later came the Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996. According to the Pew Research Center, the frame for this generation is 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the 2008 election of the first black American president, racial and ethnic diversity, and the 2008 economic recession. The economic recession and social media (the first of the “always on” generation) boom greatly influence this generation’s lifestyle and choices.

Estate Planning Considerations for Millennials in NJ

Since Millennials are now between 27 and 44 years old, their careers and consumption habits firmly plant them in the householder economy, with one foot in the future and one in the past. They are old enough to be planning for themselves and their children. For many professional millennials, their student loan debt is still a heavy burden layered on to the financial and emotional responsibility of child and parent caretaking. Their financial picture may be complex, but they still need to make an estate plan expressing their wishes for future asset distribution.

Whether they have children or are married, millennials are at the age to begin thinking about those significant changes in the future. Getting married, having a child, or buying a house are life events that motivate this generation to start planning for financial security for themselves and their loved ones. However, this generation also thinks about getting sick, living through a pandemic, and giving to their favorite charities.

Key Contribution of Estate Planning to the Financial and Family Security of Millennials

Estate planning is crucial for millennials and their children. Making a will or trust allows them to designate where their assets will go after they are gone. They can provide postmortem financial assistance to their loved ones. And since no one can determine their date of decease, an estate plan allows families to plan for now and the future. So, individuals with young children can appoint a guardian to care for their children financially, physically, and emotionally if the parents pass while the children are minors. They can also aid parents through estate planning.

An estate plan allows parents to appoint someone who manages minor children’s financial support and another person to raise them. They can also have the same person in both roles. It depends on the circumstances and people available and entrusted to take on such roles. Through a will or trust, the parents may specify how funds are to be disbursed to their offspring in their absence, for example, investing some of the estate for college education or a special needs provision for a child with disabilities. They can even provide for beloved pets.

Particular Difficulties Millennials Encounter

Student Debt

Additionally, they can use estate planning to manage assets and debts. Most debts, including student loan debt, do not end with the debtor. A creditor may make a claim to the debtor’s estate in probate. The debt gets passed to those who inherit assets from the debtor, so planning is essential to avoid passing on debt to the family. Paying off debt by opening special accounts dedicated to debt payments is one way to clear over time, but estate planning attorneys may have other options.

Personal Belongings and Digital Assets

Other considerations for estate planning are personal belongings to pass on to loved ones. Family heirlooms, like jewelry, keepsakes, furnishing, crystal collections, and other items one would wish their children or other family members to have, can be itemized in a will or trust. Also, digital assets can be on that list, such as photos, domain names, email accounts, songs, books, movies, and accounts for entertainment, and online payment accounts, like Venmo and PayPal, can go to a named person or as a general bequest to a group of people to divide among themselves.

Preparing for the Unexpected but Inevitable

Though no one between the ages of 27 and 44 is likely to think about old age, illness, or death, they must do so. Young people die from accidents frequently, so those wishing to have their healthcare wishes followed should they become incapacitated and unable to make their wishes known will want a healthcare directive and power of attorney. This document allows a designated individual to decide for one who can no longer communicate their wishes.

An advance healthcare directive instructs medical providers what to do during emergency care, such as resuscitation efforts or ending life support. In addition, a durable power of attorney designates someone to take care of your finances, like writing checks, paying bills, or making deposits. The power can be for a limited time until revoked or the appointer’s death.

Estate Planning Documents Millennials are Opting for in NJ

Possible Estate Planning Strategies for Millennials in Sea Girt, New JerseyA typical revocable trust will contain the basic provisions for asset distribution. However, accompanying documents include a will to designate where personal belongings go, a healthcare power of attorney, and a durable power of attorney. A will is a common estate planning tool most millennials choose, as it is simple and less expensive to create.

However, most may not know that a will goes through probate upon the death of its maker. That means assets only pass to heirs once the probate closes, which could be months to years. On the other hand, a trust does not go through probate, so assets pass immediately to heirs. In addition, there are no probate fees, which can be expensive. Still, trusts are not the millennial’s first choice of estate planning.

Millennials, or anyone looking to plan for their old age, illness, or legacy, should speak to an estate planning attorney to discover the many options for creating a plan that fits their specific needs and lives. There are a variety of trusts for each person’s situation, such as charitable, spendthrift, asset protection, special needs, testamentary, living, and irrevocable trusts. It is essential to find out which best fulfills present and future wishes.

Talk to Our Estate Lawyers if You are a Millennial Looking for Guidance in Ocean and Monmouth County

If you are a millennial seeking advice about getting your affairs in order, find an experienced estate planning attorney to advise you by contacting our Sea Girt or Brick law office. Once you hear your options and the creative solutions an estate planning attorney at our Monmouth and Ocean County law firm offers, you can rest assured that you only have to think about your estate once something significant changes, such as buying a house or having another child. Talk to an estate planning lawyer at Bronzino Law Firm firm for your peace of mind. Consultations are free and available at your convenience. Reach out today at (732) 812-3102 or reach us online to talk to an attorney for a free consultation. Our firm has been helping clients throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties for years in communities like Monmouth Beach, Asbury Park, Jackson, Lacey, Point Pleasant, and Mantoloking.