By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney
The statistics are alarming! According to a recent survey 92% of adults under the age of 36 do not have a Will or any other type of estate planning document completed. Millennials, whose ages range from about 20 to about 36 years old, make up this group of severely unprepared adults.
The reason for this is understandable. In fact, many of my Millennial clients often tell me that because they were so young they didn’t believe that they needed any estate planning. While it’s true that the millennial generation has different needs than older generations, they still need to get at least a basic estate plan completed. The reality is that there are two main reasons for each Millennial to get their estate planning done. These reasons are listed below.
Taking Care of Young Kids
The number one reason that cannot be overstated is that Millennials need to take care of their own young children. In Idaho, if you are a parent of a child under the age of 18 and you do not have a last will and testament that creates a guardianship for those children, then things get messy when you die. If the natural parents of those young children are both gone, then there is no legal guardian for them. When this occurs, Idaho courts are forced to hold a guardianship proceeding where any member of the family can make a request to be appointed as the legal guardian. This situation often leads to well-meaning family members fighting with each other about who should be appointed.
If a guardianship proceeding for those young children is necessary, this is a perfect opportunity for a family to come together and support each other and be strong. However, without a valid last will and testament containing a guardianship appointment it is very possible that family members will disagree and will end up fighting one another. We see this occur often between grandparents of the young child. It can also occur with other well meeting family members such as uncles or aunts or other individuals.
So even if you think you don’t own any property and you don’t need estate planning, if you have young children your need for a valid estate plan is self-evident. You have an obligation to take care of those young children and to make sure that they will be provided for and have the legal guardian you’ve chosen be appointed to take care of them until they become an adult.
Taking Care of Yourself
The next most important reason for getting an estate plan done by a millennial is to take care of themselves. Even though they’re young, it’s entirely possible that they could be hit with an illness or an injury that could incapacitate or disable them. If this occurs, then a legal guardian would need to be appointed for the millennial similarly to what was described above for young children.
Each Millennial should consider who they would want to take care of them and be involved in their daily lives including their finances, their property, their bills, and all other things as well. This will also include help and Medical Care. By completing an estate plan you will have the basic necessary documents including a durable power of attorney and a power of attorney for health care. Through these documents you have the ability of choosing the individuals who will do things for you.
Without these documents, again, the door is open for a legal guardianship proceeding to include any member of your family who believes they should be the person appointed to take care of you and your property and money. A court then is required to make a decision independent of your wishes about who will be appointed as your legal guardian.
This aspect of taking care of yourself really doesn’t even include who will receive your assets, money, property or any other items that you own including your digital assets. It only has to do with taking care of you while you are alive. However, these other things also should be considered and become a basic part of your estate plan through your last will and testament.
ENLIST AN IDAHO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU
When it comes to estate planning or probate you should never try to do it alone. If you have questions for yourself or for your family and loved ones, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.