Pandemic Prods Mortality In Millennials

Just 7% of Millennials in a recent study have left money or a portion of their estate to charities but 17% cited 2020 or the pandemic as the reason they decided to create an estate plan.

Trust & Will, a San Diego-based online estate planning firm, analyzed data from 17,925 individuals 25 to 40-years old-as part of a proprietary study. Those with more than $5 million in assets were 7% more likely to leave a bequest to charity; more than 11% of them made a bequest. Among those who left a bequest, 6.7% had a net worth of less than $50,000 and 7.03% had a net worth between $50,000 and $5 million.

The report indicated that there “appeared to be an increase” in bequests to social justice charities, including 1% of Millennials who left money to Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. The top five charities surveyed Millennials left money to in their estate plan last year were:

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (23%)
  • Planned Parenthood (8%)
  • ASPCA (6%)
  • Girl Scouts of the USA (6%)
  • American Cancer Society (4%)

Almost 40% of those in the cohort said the reason they decided to create their estate plan was “having a child.” Almost half of them took less than a year to complete their plans from the first time they thought about doing it.

About three-quarters of people in the studied cohort had net worth of less than $500,000, including 27% who had net worth of less than $50,000. Not surprisingly, the most common planning document then was a will (78%), rather than a trust (16%) or appointment of guardianship (6%). Three-quarters of those studied had children.

California had the largest number of trust completions, with 27% of the total, followed by Texas, 7%. The highest percentage of guardianship appointment documents completed were in Idaho, Mississippi and West Virginia.

On average, Millennials listed 8.86 different people in their estate plan. All of those surveyed (100%) appointed a digital executor to handle their online affairs and accounts, such as social media.