Creating wills and estate plans used to be a task many associated with older generations. However, a growing trend is emerging among young Americans who are recognizing the importance of having these legal documents in place.
Several factors are contributing to this shift in mindset, highlighting the need for younger individuals to plan for their financial future and legacy.
Many young Americans are accumulating assets at a relatively young age. This includes investments, real estate and personal property. As they build wealth, it becomes imperative to safeguard their assets and ensure that their hard-earned money and belongings undergo distribution according to their wishes in the event of their passing. Wills and estate plans provide a structured way to manage these financial responsibilities.
Protecting loved ones
Young adults often have dependents, such as spouses, children or other family members, who rely on them for support. In the event of an untimely death, it helps to have a clear plan in place to protect the financial well-being of loved ones.
Avoiding intestacy laws
Without a will or estate plan, individuals are subject to the intestacy laws of their state. This means that the state will determine where their assets go, which may not align with their preferences. Young Americans are increasingly aware of the importance of controlling the destiny of their assets and avoiding potentially unfavorable outcomes dictated by these laws.
Reducing family conflicts
Wills and estate plans can help prevent conflicts and disputes among family members after a person’s passing. When individuals outline their wishes, it reduces the likelihood of disagreements among heirs and beneficiaries.
USA Today notes that the number of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 who created wills increased by 11% in 2021. This suggests that more young adults are educating themselves about the importance of creating estate planning documents and maintaining control over their future affairs.