Estate Planning For Millenials
No matter how young you are, every adult needs a plan for the future. Adult responsibilities require thoughtful consideration and careful planning to make the most out of one’s time on planet Earth. At Phelps LaClair, we believe that estate planning for millenials is better done sooner rather than later because the earlier you begin, the greater your peace of mind will be.
The Big Three
There are three big questions that must be answered in a good estate plan: What happens to your stuff when you die? What happens to your family after you are gone? Who makes decisions for you if you become incapacitated?
Wills and Trusts
As a young adult starting a career and possibly a family, you have already begun the process of asset accumulation. You likely have a car, a bank account, and perhaps a mortgage on a home. Maybe you have purchased some artwork, or collectibles, or vintage musical instruments that will increase in value over time. These assets make up the beginnings of an estate, and you need to decide who will be receiving them when you die. Wills and trusts can both list who gets what, but they are very different in the execution of their terms. An estate planning professional can guide you through the process of deciding which is a better fit for you.
If you have minor children, you need to name a guardian for them in the event of death or incapacitation of both parents. If you haven’t done this, the court system will choose one for you, and it may be a person that you wouldn’t want to be responsible for your kids.
Along with a guardian, you should also name a trustee to see that your children’s financial needs are met. A trust will allow you specify when and how their inheritance is spent. It can provide for their education and it can include restrictions on any future ex-spouses, bad business dealings, or lawsuit claims against the estate your children inherit.
If you become incapacitated and are unable to make financial and/or health decisions for yourself, you need to have powers of attorney in place. A durable power of attorney names a person to act on your behalf, making financial decisions for you. They will have the legal right to control your bank and savings accounts, to pay your bills, and to make investment decisions in your place.
Likewise, a living will names an advocate to make health decisions for you. They have the legal right to consult with your doctors to determine the best course of action for you should you be incapable of making decisions for your own health care. A living will also lets you spell out end-of-life wishes that the advocate will see are followed.
Young adults often feel invulnerable, but no one knows when or where their time will come. With that in mind, estate planning for millenials is an important step toward a successful and fulfilling life. Phelps LaClair, serving Chandler, Mesa, and Scottsdale, has helped thousands of families in the Phoenix Valley with estate planning. Give us a call for an appointment to discuss your goals and plans for the future. Your first consultation with us is free. We understand that adulting is hard, but planning for your family’s future doesn’t have to be. Let us give you some peace of mind now so you have one less thing to worry about later.