Did you know the number of young adults with a Will increased by 63% since 2020?
In 2021, 18-34 year-olds are, for the first time, more likely to have a will than 35-54 year-olds according to a recent survey by Caring.com.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the nation’s perspective on many things, and estate planning is one of them.
Caring.com’s 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study found that middle- and older- aged adults are less likely to have a Will now than they were just one year ago, while younger adults are 63% more likely to have one this year than they were pre-pandemic. The younger generation was also the most likely to cite COVID-19 as the reason they started taking estate planning seriously.
With everything we have been through in the past year, I think it would be fair to recommend that all of us have reason to review our estate planning documents. And if you don’t have any, now is the time!
Especially if you are over the age of 60.
Typically, we tend to review our estate plan when we get older or if there has been a significant change in our circumstances. However, if you are over the age 60 and you haven't updated your estate plan in many decades, it’s time to update your documents. After everything has been updated, you should continue to review your plan every two and half years.
Here are a few age ranges and what they mean in terms of estate planning:
When do you need your estate plan to “go to work” for you? While you may think the right answer is “after I die,” the actual answer is “if you lose the ability to manage your affairs.”
Which means having the right kind of Durable Power of Attorney for Finance is vitally important. A June 2020 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey found that only 28% of retirees have a financial power of attorney, yet many people don’t understand that there are two types of these advance directives and that each one serves a very different purpose.
Knowing how both types work is critically important, particularly in this COVID-19 environment.
Do you have a Will? That is, do you have a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your property after your death? The document should also spell out other important considerations like the legal care of your minor children upon your passing.
Between one-half and two-thirds of American adults do not have a Will. The big question is why? There are many answers, but some of the most common answers are, “I don’t have time,” “I’m still young,” or “I don’t have much so what does it matter.” None of these answers are real answers, they are actually excuses. The truth is, a Will is something that has to do with our eventual death, and who wants to think about that?
To start, see if you answer yes to any of these questions:
Don’t wait for a crisis to hit and realize you are not prepared. The whole point of proper estate/long term care planning is to have a plan in place with all the documents you need ready to go – regardless of what life brings. You want these documents ready to work the way they are supposed to, and most importantly, when you need them.
We never know what the future will hold, and tomorrow is never a guarantee. Which becomes even more evident as you approach retirement years. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place that can help you no matter what. For example, what if you or your partner develop dementia, one of you needs to move into an assisted living facility, you have a health emergency, or everyone stays well and happy for many years to come? Bob Michaels can help you prepare for all these possible scenarios and help you build a roadmap for the future customized to your specifications and personal situation.
The topic of estate planning is often something people are uncomfortable discussing or even thinking about. However, creating an official and legalized plan ensures that your wishes for the distribution of your assets are carried out when you die, and it ALSO means you’ll be prepared if you have a life crisis or become ill.
Any estate plan will minimally comprise a Will, Financial POA, Health Care POA with HIPPA, Health Care Directive and Mental Health Directives. However, if married, you should strongly consider a Community Property Agreement. If you are married and have a net worth more than $2.2M then consider a Trust to eliminate estate tax. If you own property in more than one state or wish to avoid probate, you should consider a Living Trust.
Let’s look at some of these Elements of Estate Planning. And you can always learn more on our website HERE.