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Millennial estate planning: Starting now

Millennials, or the generation born roughly between 1981 and the early 2000s, are reaching ages that suggest they should start estate planning now. Many in this age range are starting families, and some have a great number of assets.

The issue with Millennials and estate planning is that the majority went through the Great Recession and may be first-time investors and planners when it comes to their estates. It's of the utmost importance that this generation understands the necessity of estate planning along with the current rules that will take precedent if they don't have these documents when they pass.

Although people tend to refer to Millennials as bad with money, the reality is that because of student loans and heavy debt loads, these are the people who are the most cautious about how they spend. They don't want to take on additional debts that they can't handle. This generation is one where delaying the first home purchase is the norm. Some wait for marriage and even for children due to the difficulties they face with debt and financial security.

The shocking thing is that around 78 percent of people in America under the age of 36 do not have a will or trust. It's clear that many of these people don't think they need one yet, but the truth is that having a plan in place is always a good idea.

There are many things you need to protect in your estate plan, from pets to family memorabilia. You should include assets, digital or physical, home furnishings and other items you own in your plan, so you know they will go where they're most needed following your death.

Source: WealthManagement, "Engage Millennials in Estate Planning," Jamil G. Daoud, accessed March 30, 2018

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