(WFSB) - The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot about how people see their health and how they prepare for the future.

That caused more young people than usual to think about wills and estate plans.

COVID-19 vaccines are more widespread, and life is slowly returning to normal.

However, the pandemic is still top of mind for many.

“People are now more concerned and aware of their mortality, so that causes them to think about their families and getting their affairs in order,” said Roger Cowen, president, Cowen Tax Advisory Group.

Since 2020, the number of people between the ages of 18 to 34 with a will increased by 63 percent.

“There used to be a thought we’re going to live forever, we’re going to be healthy forever,” Cowen said. “That is not the case.”

Cowen said the pandemic has highlighted the need for more adults to start making a will and estate plan.

Writing a will is the first step to estate planning.

An estate plan specifies how people want their assets to be distributed and managed if they die.

“If you die without a will, you would be dying what’s called intestate,” Cowen explained. “What that means is no one knows your wishes in terms of how you wish your assets to be divided up. That is an invitation to a family feud.”

Cowen also recommended that people decide on a financial power of attorney.

“Make sure you leave your family with love and in a good secure place,” he said.

For an estate checklist, check out cowentaxgroup.com.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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