78% of Millennials (under the age of 36) do not have a Last Will and Testament or Trust in place (Caring.com). While Millennials may take longer than their parents to reach certain milestones in their life such as marriage, children or the purchase of their first home, it is still important for them to get an Estate Plan in place for a multitude of other reasons.
Millennials are drawn to physical activities and active travels (such as extreme sports, zip lining through the rainforest, backpacking in a foreign land, deep diving in the tropics, mountain climbing, skydiving, bungee jumping), which can put them at risk of becoming injured, seriously ill or possibly even death. Thus, it is important for Millennials to have at a minimum a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will. The Living Will states their wishes for life-prolonging treatment and artificially provided nutrition and hydration if or when you no longer have decisional capacity, have a terminal condition, and become permanently unconscious with no hope of recovery. The Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document which names an individual or entity to act on your behalf should you be unable to do so in the future due to injury, illness or incapacity. They can handle such tasks as receive and deposit funds on your behalf with financial institutions, pay your bills, handle your healthcare needs, file tax returns on your behalf, purchase or sell property, and institute or defend a lawsuit on your behalf. The Last Will and Testament sets forth your wishes upon death, such as who will inherit your estate. You can also make provisions for who will care for and raise your minor children.
In addition, Millennials are responsible for adopting more furry pet companions than any other age group (PetfoodIndustry.com). If you did hurt yourself while zip lining or became seriously ill while traveling in a foreign land, who would take care of your beloved pet while you recuperate or if you become permanently incapacitated and unable to do so yourself? A properly prepared Durable Power of Attorney can provide for your pets, as well as yourself. If you were to die, you can make monetary provisions in a Last Will and Testament and name an individual to care for your pet, however, it does not provide oversight of the caregiver to ensure your pets are properly cared for with these funds. However, a Pet Trust can provide for your pet’s care both while you are alive and when you are deceased. You pet becomes the beneficiary of the Trust and there are provisions made for the enforcement on the pet’s behalf that are designed to last for your pet’s lifetime. Our pets are part of our families, so you want to make sure they are properly taken care of in your absence.
Millennials are quite taken by all things vintage. They love to collect vinyl records, old typewriters, 35mm cameras, vintage clothing, etc. Most Millennials would love to see their treasures passed on to loved ones in the event of their death and not just sold, so this can be accomplished by making special bequest provisions in a properly drafted Last Will and Testament, where they can name specific individuals or charitable organizations to receive their coveted possessions.
Lastly, Millennials are the veritable pioneers of the digital world and continue to dominate the digital account realm. Regardless if your preference is Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or LinkedIn, what happens to these digital accounts and the content you have stored with these service providers if you die? Unless the service provider has a feature allowing you to name a specific individual to receive your content upon your death, then your digital assets will be frozen and can’t be retrieved by anyone. However, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA), allows individuals to grant specific directions for disposition of digital assets in their Last Will and Testament or Trust. Currently, RUFADAA is not enacted in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, therefore, it is best to also provide the representative of your estate or trusted loved one with a comprehensive list of all digital assets and accounts that you have, providing the user name and password for same, so that they can retrieve your digital information, photos, videos, etc. Please feel free to use our FREE “Legacy Planning – Personal Records Organizer” to list your digital assets and accounts, as well as other essential information.