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An Increasing Number of Millennials Are Making Wills

The number of young adults ages 18 to 34 with a will in place increased by 63 percent, according to a recent survey by Caring.com. The survey cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the driving force behind the uptick in millennial estate planning.

On the other hand, middle-aged adults ages 35-54 were less likely to have an estate plan in place according to the survey, with many stating that they weren’t sure how to create an estate plan. Other reasons to put off estate planning included lack of time, cost, or a belief that they don’t own enough assets to warrant a plan.

What’s an estate plan?

Most people have an estate. An estate is made up of everything a person owns, including their home, other real estate, automobiles, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, investments, and personal property. No matter the size, from the substantial to the humble, all of us have an estate, and we can’t take it with us when we pass away.

Most people want to make sure their possessions are given to the people or charities of their choosing when they die. It is important to provide instructions stating who is to receive something, what they are to receive, and when they are to receive it. Taking care of these tasks limits the potential for legal battles or family turmoil. An estate planner will help prevent critical mistakes and help as laws, plans, and circumstances change.

What’s in an estate plan?

Estate plans differ depending on the individual, however, a few primary documents include a will, trust, Power of Attorney documents, life insurance, retirement assets, a DNR order, an estate plan tax review, a designation of funeral representative, access and management of digital assets, and more.

Hiring a professional versus online DIY

According to the Caring.com survey, an increasing number of millennials have relied on do-it-yourself online resources to create a will. Using a DIY site saves time and money in the short term, but using a DIY website may lead to costly mistakes, depending on the person’s circumstances. Below are a few reasons to consider hiring an attorney versus using the internet:

  • For people with complicated financial and personal lives, a limited online DIY will probably won’t adequately address their estate planning needs.
  • Most DIY estate planning sites have attorneys on staff, but help for your documents isn’t always available. If personalized support is available, it may be expensive.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know. You may know how you’d like your assets distributed, but you may not know about legislation and case law that have evolved into Michigan’s probate code.
  • DIY isn’t always as simple as it seems. Due to the complexities of trust language, probate code, and dealing with family dynamics, it may be easier to hire a professional to help you.

Help is available

The estate planning and probate attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio in Sterling Heights offer comprehensive planning and administrative services to individuals and families. Contact one of our attorneys today for help with your estate planning and probate needs by calling 586-726-1000 or visiting www.orlaw.com.

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