Millennials typically have a lower net worth than their parents, and they carry substantial student loan debt. Additionally, they aren’t saving enough for retirement. What’s more, since they are often responsible for children, older adults, and sometimes household pets too, it’s never too early to start putting together a comprehensive and personalized estate plan.

Making Provisions for Children

Millennials are having children as they get older despite earlier reports that this generation was not as interested in starting a family as previous generations were when they were within the same age range. Having children you need to care for is one of the most compelling reasons to begin the estate planning process.

A good place to start with children is a will. With a will, you’ll be able to designate caregivers or legal guardians for your children under the age of 18. Additionally, if you have special needs children, special provisions may be able to be included, and establishing guardianship for them in your absence becomes crucial.

Another option with children is to create a trust for each of them. There are many options to consider with a trust, with common ones including living, testamentary, revocable and irrevocable trusts. Interestingly, a recent study found that adults falling within the millennial age range prefer to choose non-family members as guardians for children or pets.

This is perfectly fine although there may be some extra steps that need to be taken when naming non-family members to care for children. Special arrangements may also be made for household pets, so it’s a good idea to be sure that all the details are ironed out ahead of time.

Dealing With Debt

Individuals between the ages 30 to 38 account for nearly $4 trillion of all household debt in the United States. Since debt doesn’t just disappear after you die, it may be a good idea to set aside a special account for debts. If the debts exceed what’s set aside, the rest would come out of other estate holdings. Debts left unpaid could also end up being passed along to loved ones if there aren’t sufficient assets available from your estate.

Itemizing Cherished Belongings

Without any estate-related planning, there are several things that could happen to the belongings that you leave behind. Even if you verbally express your wishes, those words may not stand up when it comes time to sort through your belongings. Estate-wise, it may be possible to itemize each of your belongings so that you can personally decide who gets what. Another option is to group items together or simply name one individual to determine what goes where and who gets what.

Remembering Your Favorite Charities

Many millennials are passionate about charitable giving, and if you have favorite charities, those organizations can be taken care of with estate planning. You may be able to either do a one-time donation through a will, or you could possibly have an estate planning lawyer set up a trust for your favorite charities so that they can receive payouts each month or in any other way that you prefer to give. You may be able to include special provisions as well, such as saying you wish to keep the funds you donate within your local community or establishing charitable funds in the name of a cherished loved one.

Contact The Knee Law Firm

The Knee Law Firm is here to help when you’re ready to discuss various aspects of estate management and planning. We welcome clients throughout New Jersey and the nearby areas. We’re also here for you if you are confronted with issues involving estate administration and probate. Call our Hackensack office today at 201-996-1200 to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers