Millennials Doing Estate Planning

Jun 19, 2023

Millennial consumers have gone from storming their local Barnes and Noble stores when a popular book releases to pre-ordering an eBook on their Kindle. They’ve traded in their flip phones for smartphones and DVDs and CDs for streaming. They’ve lived through world-altering events like 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.

These technological changes and economic events have made millennials more adaptable to change and altered their thoughts about money and the future. With estate planning in particular, millennials are starting to veer from tradition in order to focus on new things.

Common Trends

Planning for your digital legacy is a concept that is relatively new to the estate planning world, but millennials are keeping it top of mind. According to Trust and Will, in 2022, 74% of millennials appointed a digital executor to handle their digital files and online accounts. In addition, Trust and Will reported that millennials are 29% more likely than older generations to want their emails, instant messages, and texts kept private from their family after death.

Another way millennials differ from older generations is by naming non-family members as guardians of their children as well as executors, trustees, and beneficiaries of their estates. In addition, we are finding that millennials are more likely to name charitable organizations as their estate’s beneficiary.

Speaking of guardians, what about naming one for your pet? According to Forbes, as of 2023, 66% of U.S. households own a pet, with millennials making up the largest percentage of current pet owners at 22%. Many millennials have delayed having children and in some cases, have decided not to have any. Add that to the increased remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and you can understand why pet ownership has grown significantly over the past decade. With this in mind, millennials have started to include pet guardianship in their estate planning documents.

When it comes to final wishes, millennials are starting to choose cremation over a traditional burial. There’s also an uptick in millennials electing organ donation and donating their body to science.


Some avoid estate planning because they are young, healthy, and don’t see a rush. Many avoid it because they don’t want to deal with the emotions of thinking about death. With all these hurdles to jump, what’s been motivating millennials to get their estate documents done?

Millennials are quickly joining Gen X in what’s being coined the “sandwich generation.” They are finding themselves caring for not only their children, but their aging parents. With this added responsibility, millennials are being prompted to start thinking about and planning for the future.

Likely true amongst all generations, millennials start thinking about estate planning whenever they experience the loss of a loved one. Nothing is more motivating than experiencing the stress of planning a funeral and settling an estate on top of your already existing grief. It makes having documents that explicitly express your wishes and preferences even more important.

Major milestones such as having a child and purchasing a house are other common motivators for millennials to complete their estate documents.


Making the leap to get your estate documents done is not easy. Consider that you are not just doing it for yourself, but for your friends and family. Work with your financial planner and reach out to an estate attorney to get yours in place!

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The material has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, however Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information presented here may have been condensed or summarized from its original source. To determine which investments or planning strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor or other industry professional prior to investing or implementing a planning strategy. This article is not intended to provide investment, tax or legal advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be taken as such. Investment Advisory services are offered through Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc. Advisory services are only offered where Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered unless a client agreement is in place.

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