Millennial Estate Planning

When is it time to start talking about estate planning and wills? Conversations about estate planning are becoming increasingly important as most Millennials approach or have already entered their forties.

This generation, roughly defined as those born in 1980 to 1995, is going through a life stage transition: most have children of their own, mortgages, and ageing parents who need extra care.

Some of this generation will be lucky enough to inherit significant wealth from Boomer parents, who have benefited from low interest rates and inflated house prices, which has increased the value of their assets.

Different financial perspectives

But Millennials have distinct financial differences and perspectives, compared to previous generations.

Recent studies show that Millennials, who lived through the 2008 financial crisis and are now facing a global pandemic and inflation crisis, are increasingly sceptical of traditional investments, with a substantial proportion of wealthy Millennials holding 25 per cent of their wealth in digital assets, compared to less than 10 per cent for Boomers.

As Millennials grew up in a time of rapid technological advancement, this is not surprising, but estate planning experts say it is crucial they understand how these assets fit into estate plans, and in turn, legal service providers need to know the legal implications of passing down digital assets, especially in intestacy cases.

Lawful beneficiaries

A lot of the time naming a beneficiary in a will may not be enough to ensure that the dependent’s lawful beneficiaries inherit their digital assets. It’s important that there is an inventory of these too.

For digital assets such as cryptocurrency, accessing crypto assets necessitates the use of a key in the form of a password. The assets cannot be accessed without this key, even if an heir is named in a will.

So, any discussions about estate planning must cover key and password information to ensure the rightful beneficiaries receive what they are due. An estate with incomplete information on blockchain assets or an intestacy puts Millennials’ assets at risk of being lost indefinitely.

Estate plans need to include a clearly itemised and detailed plan, with the digital keys and passwords, beneficiaries, and trustees, noted in order to provide peace of mind.


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