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Talking to Millennials About Estate Planning & Digital Assets

2022

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By: HeirSearch.

As most Millennials approach or have already entered their 40s, having conversations about estate planning is increasingly critical.

This generation is experiencing a life stage transition: most now have children of their own, mortgages, and aging parents that require additional care.

And in the coming years, Millennials will inherit considerable wealth (approximately $84 trillion by 2045) from their Boomer parents.

Despite these transitions, Millennials still present unique distinctions and perspectives about their finances compared to previous generations. Legal professionals like yourself need to be familiar with these perspectives.

Millennial Asset Trends

Recent studies show that Millennials, having lived through the 2008 financial crisis and now a global pandemic and inflation crisis, increasingly distrust traditional investments (47% of wealthy millennials hold 25% of their wealth in digital assets compared to less than 10% of wealth for Boomers).

Since many Millennials came of age during an era that has been dominated by rapid advances in technology, it is understandable that they are more receptive to new forms of asset accumulation and growth.

But as this generation gets older, it’s critical that they know how these assets will fit into their estate plans.

Unique Challenges of Blockchain Inheritances

As attorneys and estate planners, you must understand the legal implications of passing digital assets down, especially in an intestacy.

In many cases, simply naming a beneficiary in a will may not be enough to ensure the dependent’s lawful heir(s) inherit their digital assets.

In last month’s blog post, we discussed simple steps your clients can take to establish their estate plans, such as taking inventory of all their assets. The same holds for digital assets like cryptocurrency or NFTs.

What makes digital assets different from conventional assets is their functionality. Accessing crypto assets requires a key in the form of a password. Without this key, the assets cannot be accessed, even if a beneficiary is named in a will.

To ensure your client’s lawful heir(s) receive the inheritance owed to them, discussions about account key and password information must be part of your estate planning strategy.

Initiating the Conversation

It’s never too early to ask your client about their estate plan. Having a will in place, even for a small inheritance, can save your client’s loved ones time and hassle.

An estate with incomplete information on blockchain assets or an intestacy poses a considerable risk that your client’s assets could be lost indefinitely.

Stay informed of the digital asset regulations in your state/region so you can be prepared to bring up or respond to your client’s questions about digital assets in their estate.

The world of blockchain assets continues to evolve. Still, a clearly itemized and detailed estate plan, including digital keys and passwords, beneficiaries, and trustees, will always provide peace of mind to your clients and their families.

Do you need help establishing Heirship?

If you’re facing a challenge establishing ownership of estate property or are probating an intestacy, HeirSearch can help.

HeirSearch’s professional researchers identify and locate missing or unknown beneficiaries and heirs for probate. We work exclusively with executors, administrators, trustees, fiduciaries, bank and trust officers, and their counsel to establish kinship for legal purposes.

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