Across all generations, many people do not take the time to make a Will. More tellingly, the overwhelming majority of millennials are in that situation.
We get it that it is not pleasant to face growing old and dying eventually but this is a serious and inevitable progress, even further now when people have more assets than they used to, such as digital assets, that are harder to track when their life ends.
1. Millennials Have More Stuff Than They Think 2. Millennials are Almost 40 3. Millennials Own Homes 4. Millennials Cohabitate More 5. Millennials’ Lives Are Online
Here are five reasons why even millennials need to write a Will.
1. Millennials Have More Stuff Than They Think
While many millennials may feel like they do not have significant assets to leave behind, that is often not quite true. Do you own electronics? An electric scooter? Designer sneakers (many)? A downtown pad? A digital bank account?
Wills can also control the disposition of digital assets like websites, domain names or cryptocurrency. They can even govern intangible assets like copyrights on a song you wrote or a trademark on an idea you had.
2. Millennials are Almost 40
The oldest millennials are already 40 years old now. Plus, they make up an increasingly large percentage of those having children and buying property.
A Will provides you with the ability to control who receives your assets upon your death and, optionally, who will serve as guardian if you have children. A significant number of millennials are also parents, so you should consider how your children will be taken care of if the worst happens.
Since minors cannot inherit property directly, their guardian will have to petition the court to use the money. Children will only get unrestricted access to the inheritance when they are no longer minors.
Naming a guardian allows you to determine who will take care of your children. Having said that, it is a good idea to discuss this decision with the people you would like to name as guardian.
During this conversation, make sure the potential guardian is willing and able to take on the role. After all, this person could still decline the role after you are gone or the court could determine that your choice is unfit.
Having these conversations beforehand might help avoid those situations. Also note that the legal guardian you have named in your Will only comes into effect if all both parents have passed away.
3. Millennials Own Homes
More millennials have significant assets and more of them are becoming homeowners.
Whether or not there is a Will, a person’s estate pays any outstanding debts he or she had while still alive, including mortgages.
Having a Will makes the payment of debts and distribution of assets much clearer, easier and faster. Without a Will, the process takes much longer: someone needs to be appointed to administer the estate and it takes longer for the court to provide that person with the authority to act.
In the meantime, bills accumulate. Debt holders, including mortgage lenders, are still trying to get paid and may take action to foreclose on the property if mortgage obligations are ignored.
4. Millennials Cohabitate More
The number of millennials who choose not to get married is increasing. Even the ones choosing to tie the knot are waiting until they are older.
As more people opt to live together and not get married, having a Will is even more vital. Dying without a Will is especially problematic for unmarried couples that live together and contribute to the same bills and purchases.
In the absence of a Will that clearly states the division of property, it will be split up according to local intestate laws, usually between the decedent’s relatives. That means that even if you and your partner have blended your financial lives, you will not receive any support for your financial obligations if one of you passes away.
5. Millennials’ Lives Are Online
Think about the brands many people associate with millennials: Facebook, Google, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Squarespace, Pinterest, Instagram, Hulu, Netflix and more. While the ownership of movies and music through iTunes may not be a priority for your estate planning, they can pose a unique problem.
Digital assets are subject to a strict set of rules. Indeed, laws make it a crime to access someone's phone or computer without authorization, even if they’re dead.
When a loved one passes away, the easiest way to learn what investments they have, what bills they pay and what online subscriptions or accounts they hold is through their email accounts, which cannot be accessed without authorization. Millennials need to consider this and plan properly to give someone valid authority to access contents and deal with this type of assets.
Making all of these decisions ahead of time will not only make the grieving process easier for your family and friends, but will also spell out your expectations and wishes. Dying is not a pleasant topic to discuss with loved ones but you will be glad you did.
Sure, even thinking about how to write a Will can be stressful though sites like this can be of great help. But for many millennials, it is really necessary.
Writing your Will is the very first step, and it’s an important one. But that’s not enough. In the digital age, the next step is to store your Will online. Otherwise, what happens if your person of confidence is not able to find your Will in a timely manner? liteWill is the only Will registration platform that is available globally and that provides the option to store your Will online. ‘A Will that is not online is like a Will that does not exist’.
This portion of the website is for information only. The statements and opinions are the expression of their author, not of liteWill, and have not been evaluated for accuracy, completeness or changes in the law. Information contained in this article is not a substitute for tax or legal advice.
Designed with You in Mind