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Estate planning isn't just for baby boomers

Delaware's baby boomers are not the only ones who need to get their affairs in order to ensure their families are taken care of after their deaths. No one knows what the future holds, and it pays to be prepared. That means that even millennials could benefit from estate planning, especially if they have families of their own.

Research indicates that at least 60 percent of Americans do not even have a basic will. An estate plan typically includes several documents, including health directives that indicate what end-of-life care an individual wants, along with a health care power of attorney that appoints someone to make medical decisions if the person making the appointment is unable to do so. A durable power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions under the same conditions. Since many millennials live with their partners prior to marriage, these documents give their loved ones the right to receive medical information and to take action if it becomes necessary.

Millennials with children can appoint a guardian for the kids in their wills to ensure that they get to choose the person who cares for their children in the event that both parents die. A will also designates who receives an inheritance. However, minor children cannot inherit property directly. This and other concerns could mean that a trust would best serve an individual's needs.

Millennials will surely benefit from discussing their wishes with a Delaware estate planning attorney. Fortunately, a number of options are available to express those desires. Having an attorney to assist with the details and oversee the execution of the documents increases the chances that the documents will stand up to court scrutiny when they are needed.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "Millennials, Don't Forget Estate Planning", Winnie Sun, March 6, 2017

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