Estate Planning for Millennials in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic

For most millennials, one of the last things on our mind is planning for our eventual death. However, the coronavirus pandemic has mortality on the minds of many young people who are taking action now writing wills and making critical estate planning decisions about who will be in charge of their medical care and finances if they’re ill and incapacitated.

It never hurts to be prepared and even without the coronavirus pandemic estate planning is a good idea and can help ease your concerns.

Whether you are recently married, starting a family, are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, or simply haven’t gotten around to putting your affairs in order, it is important you consider doing this now.

Your plan does not need to be expensive, complex, or detailed, but you should start with the essential documents. You can then grow your plan as your situation changes and your financial situation improves. A good starter plan will include the following:

  1. A Will. As most of us know, a Will dictates who will inherit our things when we die. However, more importantly in the situation of someone with young children, a Will nominates who will be the “backup parents” of children if something happens both spouses.  Failing to nominate someone can be costly, leaving the decision to a court who does not have access to your wishes or that knows the relationships between your children and other friends and family members.
  2. A Living Will. Different than a Will, a Living Will informs your doctors of your decision regarding the medical measures you wish taken if death is imminent or you are in a persistent vegetative state.
  3. Financial Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to act for you if you become incapacitated. This person would have the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf such as pay bills, manage assets, talk to creditors, or do anything else you want them to do.
  4. Health Care Power of Attorney. Similar to the Financial Power of Attorney, this document allows an appointed person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot express your wishes or make the decisions yourself. This document can also authorize them to obtain copies of your medical records.
  5. Life Insurance. Life insurance can be an affordable way to cover your liabilities so you don’t leave your spouse or significant other with a heavy burden should something happen to you.  Life Insurance can serve many purposes and provide for such things as funding retirement and providing educational savings for your children.

Having this type of plan in place can ensure that you are protecting your family in the event of an unforeseen accident or injury. A plan like this is easy to create and maintain and should be reviewed regularly as your situation changes.