When I was younger I always pictured end of life planning as something only old people do. Now that I am no longer a spring chicken myself, I understand that it can be important for all adults, regardless of age or social standing.
Having worked in the health care industry for many years I have seen people of all ages with lots of different health issues. But one thing they had in common is that they didn’t plan on coming to the end of their lives so unexpectedly.
Even though all of their lives mattered, it was more difficult to see sick or dying children and young people. In fact, it brings me nearly to tears right now to think about some of the patients I knew and loved that passed away.
Of course, no amount of end of life planning will bring these people back. However, the truth is, there are 5 reasons millennials need to do end of life planning as much as anyone else.
Young people tend to feel as if they are immortal to a degree. I know because I felt that way when I was younger.
Unfortunately, being a millennial doesn’t exempt you from passing away from illnesses or accidents. If you have furry friends that you love you probably want them to be well taken care of should something happen to you.
The law generally regards pets as property which means they may end up in a shelter or worse if something happens to you. Setting up a will, however, gives you the ability to make provisions for their care including a guardian and even a trust.
2. Personal Belongings
Even if you don’t have a whole lot of stuff you probably have some things that are of sentimental value to your family and friends. Should something unexpected happen to you that ends your life these are the people who should receive these items.
However, without a will, the state will decide who gets your belongings. Unfortunately, it may not be the person or people you would choose.
3. Social Media
Another reason millennials need to do end of life planning is for social media accounts. Nearly every young person has at least one type and some have several.
What happens to them if they pass away? It’s possible they could remain a visible reminder of your loss every day since they aren’t automatically deleted or inactivated.
To remedy this, you can name a digital executor regardless of the legality of it. Take an inventory of your digital files and assets and appoint someone as the person to handle them.
Some millennials, married or not, have children they will leave behind if they pass away. Setting up end of life planning can include making a choice about who should care for them when you are gone.
Naming someone to watch over your children is a decision that is not easy. Nevertheless, it can prevent the court from making the judgement in the absence of any documentation from you. It can also squash family battles that could arise over your child or children later.
Should something unexpected happen that ends in your death, the expenses for those you left behind can be more than they are able to pay. That financial hardship could be avoided, however, if the proper steps are taken.
End of life planning can include building up your savings, purchasing life insurance, setting up an estate, and creating advance directives. You should also consider having a power of attorney for your health care as well as one for your finances. Although these could be the same person they do not have to be.
Everyone’s life is important, but so is planning for the reality that we all pass away sometime. As you can see, millennials are not exempt. There are at least 5 reasons millennials need to do end of life planning just like the rest of us.
Have you completed your end of life planning yet?
Jeanne is a married mother of 2 grown children who works as a full-time freelancer and also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is mostly finance and medical office management. She’s currently working to improve her financial well-being and hopes to help others improve theirs as well.