Is preparing an estate plan a good idea for millennials?

An estate plan is not something young people often think about. The idea normally surfaces around the time the first child comes along, but the new parents might not take action on it right away.

Putting together an estate plan may sound like a logical next step once you start a family, but what if you are still single and intend to stay that way for the foreseeable future? Why would you need an estate plan in that case?

Assets matter

If you have been working for a few years, you will have accumulated assets. You may have a car, some collectibles, a pet, perhaps an investment account. You may even have purchased your first home. What happens to all these things if you suddenly pass away? Yes, you are young and healthy, but the unexpected could happen. Who would take care of your pet? Who gets your rare wine collection or your vintage BMW?

What is included

You may think that estate planning is all about what happens after you die with documents such as your last will and testament. However, if you should become incapacitated, your plan will include healthcare directives so that your medical needs will be handled according to your instructions. Through a financial power of attorney, a person you trust will be able to deal with your financial affairs until such time as you are recovered and can resume control.

Considering special circumstances

You may be an entrepreneur with a thriving business. You have no employees, but you own your brand name and you have digital accounts and important documents that live in the cloud. Do you want your business to continue in the event of your demise? Your estate plan could address this. Furthermore, if you suddenly find the person you want to marry but your new family will also include a special-needs child, you can set up a trust to ensure your child is properly cared for.

Forget the online forms

Once you make the decision to set up an estate plan, you might think you can create your will and other documents using online forms. Keep in mind, however, that these often do not hold up in court. Your estate planning documents are among the most important you will ever have. Make sure they are prepared properly with the help of an experienced attorney.