Charitable Giving

Many millennials include charities and other non-government organizations as estate beneficiaries. Under the right circumstances and with the right estate plan, a charity-centered plan could also afford Millennials the opportunity to claim significant tax benefits when they are still alive.

How Estate Planning Can Benefit American Millennials

An estate plan should include contingencies that protect its creator in the event they are incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own. The right estate plan could help you:

Accommodate Incapacity

A comprehensive estate plan should include provisions for the financial and health care powers of attorney. These powers of attorney allow the testator to designate a special agent to make financial and medical decisions in the event they are ever incapacitated.

Create Peace of Mind

Millennials who have families need to take the right steps to ensure their loved ones are protected in the event of an unexpected tragedy. An estate plan could let young parents nominate a guardian for their children, condition responsible inheritances, and even reduce their financial liabilities in the event of divorce or bankruptcy.

Prevent Intestacy

Estate plans may serve a wide range of functions, but preventing intestacy is among their most critical. If a California resident dies without an estate plan, the court will likely find that they have died intestate. During intestacy proceedings, the court allocates the deceased person’s assets according to a strict legal formula—a formula that almost exclusively privileges close blood relations and could preclude inheritance rights to people you had intended to name as heirs.

Exercise Caution With Do-it-Yourself Estate Plans

Millennials have made significant contributions to the development of the modern internet. Today, it is possible to find information about almost anything online—and that includes estate plans.

However, estate planning is a sensitive undertaking. While countless websites offer do-it-yourself wills and supposedly self-executing trust documents, homemade estate plans are almost always vulnerable to challenge and oversight. California, for example, has very specific and stringent requirements for the writing of wills and execution of trusts. If these requirements are not carefully enacted, the entire estate plan could collapse under the weight of a single irregularity.


Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.