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Caring For Generations

Whenever our lawyers at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates are able to bring together family members of different generations to coordinate planning which includes sharing values as well as wealth transfer, we’ve discovered, it is (as Martha Stewart might describe it), “a good thing”. Offering appointments by phone and video conferencing has allowed us to continue this practice during the pandemic.

In a blog post last month, we shared some observations about Gen Xers, currently in their 40s and 50s, including some of the unique challenges that generation has faced. Millennials, now in their mid 20s to late 30s, are the focus of today’s piece.

Millennials care about vastly different issues than GenXers, Stephen Nikitas writes in; they are receptive to a different set of recommendations when it comes to estate and financial planning. Millennials have less brand loyalty than previous generations. They seek digital tools to help manage debt and “see banks as transactional as opposed to relational”. Meanwhile, they have a much lower average net worth than previous generations; many were entering the workforce just when unemployment was high, the Pew Research Center explains, and compared with former generations and even with GenXers, Millennials tend to have larger student loan debt burdens. Millenials tend to live in their parents’ home for longer stretches and are starting their families later than prior generations.

Not-yet married Millennials, for example, might want to consider:

  • giving a committed romantic partner the right to make medical and financial decisions
  • naming a partner the beneficiary of property
  • arranging for guardianship of children
  • addressing digital assets

With many Millennials caring about social causes, at Geyer Law, we often find that clients want to include specific gifts in their estate planning documents.

While our Millennial clients do, in fact, tend to be receptive to issues and often need different kinds of help than older generations, the estate planning process documents their wishes and helps prepare them for life’s twists and turns.

– by Rebecca W. Geyer