Wills and other end-of-life planning documents are a good idea for any individual. You don't have to be rich to see a benefit in estate planning. In fact, according to an Allianz Life Insurance survey, many baby boomers place value on things that have nothing to do with money. The survey, which was conducted in 2012, parallels survey results from 2005.
The vice president of the insurance company says that people find value in things that make their families unique. Though there are reports of disputes over monetary inheritance, experts report that the most common issues regarding inherited items are related to things such as family heirlooms. The Allianz survey illustrates the importance of such things. According to the survey, 86 percent of baby boomers said that keeping family legacies alive is important.
To avoid controversy during estate administration, individuals should speak with loved ones before estate planning becomes a rushed necessity. Individuals can ask loved ones if they would like to receive certain keepsakes and discuss wishes with family members to help ensure that distribution of assets occurs without disputes. Families can even consider passing on keepsakes and heirlooms while they are still alive.
One woman who has worked with families regarding estate administrative for 25 years reports that many people regret the loss of family stories. Families can work together to record family stories in writing, via audio or on video. Those recordings can be shared with all members and passed down through generations.
Estate planning involves legal considerations about things such as inheritance taxes, asset valuation and power of attorney. On a more personal level, solid estate planning can keep heirs connected with family history and make sure that personal items are passed down in a meaningful manner.
Source: MarketWatch, "Your heirs want this even more than your money" Andrea Coombes, Dec. 16, 2013