Today, with smaller families and more women choosing not to have children, “the dynamic has changed pretty significantly for the generation of baby boomers. The option of doing something charitably significant with their estates is a change.
What you do with your estate is up to you. Sometimes that means passing it to your family. But for some, there may not be any family around. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you go about fulfilling that legacy?
The decision-making process of any estate plan should begin with some philosophical questions, according to a recent article in The New York Times, titled "In Estate Planning, Family Isn’t Always First."Even those who do have children may decide to leave their estate to others, the article notes.
Surprise! Surprise! Many Americans don't have a will (is that you?), and they postpone drafting one until it is too late. According to a recent University of Michigan survey quoted in the NYT article, the younger the survey respondents, the fewer with wills. Shockingly, only 75 percent of those over the age of 75 have a will.
Estate planning is really reflecting on your legacy, the article notes, and having a properly executed will documents where you want your wealth to go. Talk to an estate planning attorney and make sure you have a will and other documents to ensure your legacy.
Reference: New York Times (May 2, 2014) "In Estate Planning, Family Isn’t Always First"