Estate planning is not just for those who are nearing retirement age. People often assume that grandparents create estate plans later in life to decide where to leave their assets — and how to do it — and that they don’t need to worry about estate planning until they’re also around that age.
The truth, though, is that many younger people also need to do their estate planning. It’s not wise to put it off. Even millennials could benefit from getting a plan in place.
How old are millennials?
One thing to address up front is that millennials may be young, but they are not teenagers. Most are not even college students. In fact, they range in age from about 25 to 40 years old.
Instantly, you can see why estate planning may be important. Here are a few reasons:
- Many people start families between 25 and 35. Young parents need to do estate planning so that they can pick guardians and make other plans for these young children, who will be minors for the next 18 years. Estate planning is not just about assets.
- Many people in this age bracket also get married, get divorced, and/or get remarried. As families change, it’s important to have an estate plan that makes your wishes clear.
- A lot of millennials are also getting to the age where they are buying homes, starting businesses and acquiring other major assets. Even if they plan to own these for decades to come, it’s a good idea to have a plan with so much new wealth.
- Finally, you never know how old you’ll be when you pass away. Just under 40,000 people die from car accidents every year, for instance, and they don’t discriminate by age. Even if you assume you will be around for 40 or 50 more years, it does not hurt to create an estate plan just in case.
The thing to remember is that estate plans can be changed, altered and updated as needed. There is no downside to making one early and then updating it as you age. Just be sure you know what legal steps to take.