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Should millennials consider smaller scale estate planning?

Ask anyone in their 30s, 40s, or beyond about life in their 20s, and they will likely tell you that while it was certainly carefree and chaotic, it was also relatively stressful given that they were forced to make important decisions about everything from their careers to their education.

Indeed, the reality today is much the same for millennials who are not only confronted with the need to make many of these same decisions, but who must also navigate a tough job market and manage historically high levels of debt.

While today's young people are understandably preoccupied with finding their place here and now, experts indicate that they still shouldn't overlook planning for the future.

Specifically, even though they may be single and without significant assets, they should nevertheless consider executing at least two vital estate planning documents.

What estate planning documents should millennials consider executing?

Experts indicate that most millennials don't need to undertake any complex estate planning, and that it would likely be sufficient to execute what is known as an advance health care directive and a durable power of attorney.

What exactly are these documents?

As we've discussed on our blog before, an advance health care directive consists of a living will and a health care surrogate designation. In the former, you are essentially summarizing when you want physicians to provide, withhold or withdraw medical care, while in the latter, you are essentially giving a trusted party the power to make medical decisions in the event of your incapacity.

As for a durable power of attorney, it's akin to the health care surrogate designation except that instead of giving a trusted party the power to make medical decisions, you're giving them the power to manage finances on your behalf. This could include everything from filing your tax return and paying your rent to depositing money and managing other obligations.

Why is it necessary for millennials to execute these documents?

Experts indicate that these documents can provide clear guidance to loved ones in difficult times, and prevent the type of infighting that can arise when people have conflicting opinions about what you would want.

They recommend millennials ask themselves what would happen in the event of a serious car wreck.     

Wouldn't this be extremely expensive?

While most young people think this could prove to be an expensive proposition, this isn't necessarily the case. Indeed, many attorneys offer very reasonable fees, as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing these documents are executed correctly.

To learn more about any aspect of estate planning, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional. 

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