A whole host of factors seem to be contributing to the Millennial and Gen Z mindset around death. The pandemic, global warming and political and economic uncertainty is pushed through social media and the internet daily.
It creates more awareness of the issues we face and encourages conversations around them. However, it also heightens the anxiety about the precarious future faced by the next generation, making them more aware of their own mortality.
An INSIDER poll conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience found that roughly 30% of our American friends either strongly agree, agree or somewhat agree that couples should consider the negative and potentially life-threatening effects of climate change when considering having children. Making you wonder if the Millennial and Gen Z generation in the UK feel the same way…
I asked my Millennial and Gen Z colleagues for their thoughts on the matter, here’s what they said.
“I think the modern discussion of death is a healthier way to approach a previously delicate subject. The increase of death related entertainment media (films and TV that focus the story on a death) has created a positive dialogue around it, which encourages people to be more open about their struggles and reach out for support.”
Rob, Gen Z
“‘I don’t necessarily think about death day to day, but at certain times in my life I have given it quite a lot of thought. Often triggered by my own experience of loss or even the high-profile death of a young person which makes me think about the finite amount of time we have in this world and question whether I am making the most of it!
My friends and I often chat about our bucket lists and all the things we want to see or experience before we die.
Since having my daughter I’ve thought more about the practical elements of not being around one day, I want to make sure I’ve put plans in place to make sure she’s as well looked after as possible should the worst happen.”
Perhaps this generation does think about death more often, without comparing with the Baby Boomers, it’s hard to know for sure.
We do know that, over the pandemic, we saw more Millennials writing Wills. A study from end-of-life online platform Aura found that a third of Brits’ attitudes towards death had changed as a direct result of Covid-19. With Gen Z’s more likely to plan ahead and make a bucket list than Boomers. It found that Millennials are making more financial plans too and that they were more likely to discuss death with their children than their parents’ generation.
According to some, even before the pandemic, Millennials and Gen Z had been dubbed the “death positive generation” with more of them planning their own funerals! Which raises the question, if they’re ready and willing to plan their own funerals should they also be considering estate planning, and will this trend pull down the average age of people writing Wills?
It might also mean that estate planners could end up with a younger client base than they’re ready for. As the next generation will fully expect digital solutions and services, something that the estate planning industry is only now embracing.
For information on attracting and supporting the younger generation with their estate planning, contact Arken.