Financially savvy and secure in their personal beliefs, millennials are a unique generation with unique estate planning needs. If you are a millennial and you would like to get started with estate planning, a good place to begin is getting a plan in place that would protect your interests if you were to become incapacitated. Incapacity could happen to anyone at any time in a variety of different ways, so it is essential to prepare for the possibility that it could happen to you.
Preparing for the possibility of incapacity begins with creating a Durable Power of Attorney (POA), the document that specifies the person who will make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. You’ll also want to have your estate planning attorney help you draft a health care advance directive that puts your preferences for medical care into writing in case you are in a state where you cannot relay that information to the people who are treating you on your own.
Now that you have documents in place to address the possibility of incapacity, it is time to create the documents that address the eventuality of death. A will is a bare minimum for estate planning, and most people also opt for a trust as well as beneficiary designations on assets like 401(k) accounts and life insurance policies. Once these documents are created, set aside time to review them every once in a while so that any needed changes can get made.
The estate planning documents that address incapacity and death are important because they ensure that your desires get honored if you are unable to express them. Absent such documents, things can occur that you don’t approve of. For example, if you get hurt in a car crash, and you have not got a document in place that says that your mother or father can make medical care decisions on your behalf, the people you love might have to stand by while hospital staff follows standard procedures which might not align with your will.
There are default rules that apply to your assets, too. In most states, when an unmarried individual who has no children dies without a will, the estate reverts to their parents. If you have any retirement accounts, be sure that your estate plan identifies each of them and confirms the beneficiary designations. Include everything in your estate plan, from considerations regarding your digital accounts and pets to instructions for your intellectual property, and anything else that you have.
Estate planning can be simple and straightforward, and once the plan is in place, it is easy to maintain by periodically revisiting it to make sure that any necessary changes can get made. If you have some questions about estate planning in Kansas, schedule an initial consultation with Wichita attorney J. Joseph Weber by calling our office at 316-265-7802. You can also contact us through our website. We offer appointments Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we occasionally offer evening or weekend appointments.