“Young adults need estate plans too. It’s an entreaty all too often met with a shrug of the shoulders and a wave of the hand. At that age, we think we’re immortal. However, the uncomfortable truth is that no one knows how much time is left.”
A year ago, 58 people were killed during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas. Many of those who lost their lives that day, were in their 20s and 30s. As we reflect on the pain their families must have felt and still feel, how many of them had plans in place, asks Think Advisor in the article, “Yes Millennials DO Need Estate Planning.”
If the statistics are the same as the rest of the country, most of these victims didn’t have any plans in place. That’s a shame, because their wishes died with them. There were probably a lot of families that didn’t know if their loved one wanted to be buried or cremated or what they would have wanted for funeral arrangements. They didn’t know who should receive what assets. Perhaps these young people had close friends that should have been remembered to help them ease their grief.
All young adults must think about creating an estate plan. Here are a few simple steps that could save their families a lot of pain, if the worst happens:
- Work with an estate planning attorney to draw up a will to create a plan for your belongings—who will inherit what, both financial and personal. You should also remember your virtual assets, such as your iTunes and social media accounts.
- Create a list of your usernames and passwords to all your financial and personal accounts. Make certain that your family knows about it and has access, if it’s online.
- If you have a 401(k) and company-sponsored life insurance, be sure to name beneficiaries on these accounts to avoid probate.
- Ask your bank for a payable-on-death (POD) account. This lets you name a beneficiary, keeping the account out of probate.
- Designate a durable power of attorney and health care proxy, which let others make financial and medical decisions for you, if you become incapacitated. If you want to give your proxy specific instructions, create an advance directive, also known as a living will.
Estate planning isn’t only for the old and rich, and it’s just as much about your own peace of mind, as it is creating clarity for families in a time of chaos. While we can’t prevent accidents or even tragedies like that in Las Vegas, we can help create a plan, so our families can concentrate on what matters: honoring the lives of loved ones.