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Millennials are wise to think about estate planning

If you are in your 20s or 30s, you may not give much thought to estate planning. For one thing, you may think your assets are not sufficient to make up the framework of an "estate." For another, old age -- even middle age -- probably seems like forever into the future, so there is plenty of time to consider planning for your retirement years.

On the other hand, as a forward-thinking member of the millennial generation, the subject of estate planning may have entered your mind, at least to the extent of making a will. This is a good start. It shows you realize you are not invincible and that you are thinking about the consequences to others if something should happen to you.

You do have assets

You may live in a rented condo, but you do have assets. Your cool Mustang convertible is an asset. So are your furnishings, your art collection and your ever-expanding model train setup. By the way, your pet terrier is also an asset: The law considers pets to be property. If you make a list of such items, you will see that you have possessions of value that could constitute a foundation for estate-planning purposes.

You may have business interests

What if you are a business owner? What happens to your company and your employees when you die? Even if you are a freelancer or entrepreneur with no employees, you should think about what happens to your intellectual property. You may have trademarks or patents, or important business information stored in the cloud. You need to consider how you want your business interests handled in the event of your demise.

Going a few steps further

With a will as the start, you might want to explore the benefits of other pieces of the estate-planning puzzle. For example, you may not be married, but you might live with a domestic partner. If you become incapacitated or if you should die, estate planning documents would ensure that your partner has the legal right to be in charge of your care or oversee your estate matters.

The bottom line is that you are smart to think about your future now so that you can relax and enjoy whatever "forever" might bring.

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