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Baby boomers, inheritances and special considerations

Age demographics other than baby boomers (boomers being of the post-World War II baby surge from 1946 through 1964) might sometimes feel slighted by all the attention that seems to be paid to that group. In virtually every realm of interest, from politics to social mores, stories abound concerning how boomers feel, how they differ from other groups, how they will fare going forward and so forth.

There are valid reasons for all that attention, given the estimated 79 million boomers across the country. A New York Times article discussing -- you guessed it! -- boomers recently focused on an interesting subject that affects boomers in a quite singular way.

Namely, that is inheritances, with the Times noting that "there have never been as many heirs with as much money as now."

Paradoxically, a group often noted for its willingness to experiment and liberal nature in general was preceded by a parental generation that came of age during the Great Depression of the 1930s. That experience resulted in many millions of people becoming markedly cautious and financially conservative.

The result: a lot of money and assets accumulated over time that are now being inherited by boomers in Texas and nationally who are now in their 50s and 60s.

One estimate of inheritable wealth posits that boomers will receive nearly $8.5 trillion by 2030.

As the Times notes, inherited assets are often viewed as being quite different from other assets, making estate planning a bit complex for many boomers on the receiving end.

“Inherited money is sacred money,” says one financial planner.

In other words, inheritances from hard-working and now deceased parents can bring a sudden degree of wealth for boomers that is accompanied by feelings of guilt, loss and relief at the same time.

That can lead to hesitation and sometimes problems in smartly and responsibly dealing with an inheritance.

“There’s no right or wrong answer to this, as long as you are consciously making your decisions,” says an executive of one wealth management company.

A proven estate planning attorney experienced in working with boomer clients and inheritance-related matters can offer guidance and help a client create a sound and well-structured estate plan.

Source: The New York Times, "When boomers inherit, complications may follow," Fran Hawthrone, Feb. 10, 2014

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