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Boomers Aren't Interested in Leaving Money to Heirs

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Baby boomers and their parents are more interested in passing down family history and stories than personal possessions.

The 2012 Allianz Life American Legacies Pulse Study found that 86 percent of boomers (ages 47 to 66) and 74 percent of people over age 72 agreed that family stories are the most important aspect of their legacy, ahead of personal possessions (64 percent for boomers, 58 percent for elders) and the expectation of inheritance for financial well-being (9 percent for boomers, 14 percent for elders).

Both groups also agree that an inheritance is not “owed.” Only 4 percent of boomers surveyed said they felt their parents owed them an inheritance. The percentage of elders who felt they owed their children an inheritance went down from 22 percent in 2005 to 14 percent today. This change could stem from elders being more concerned about potentially using more of their savings for living expenses, the report found.

“Our American Legacies Study found that people feel the same way they do about legacy transfer as they did prior to the market volatility we’ve experienced in recent years,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life.  “Although they’re not concerned about legacy transfer with their parents, it’s important that boomers invest more into their own legacy planning to ensure a better future for their heirs.”

The study found that elders are better prepared when it comes to legacy planning than their children. Three-quarters of elders have obtained professional assistance, such as a lawyer, accountant or financial professional, in planning their inheritance, and 79 percent have had some type of in-depth discussion with their children about legacy planning.

Boomers lag behind their parents in this area, with less than half seeking help with their legacy planning and nearly 50 percent never initiating a conversation with their own children about inheritance issues.

For more on estate planning, see:

Estate Planning: Focus on the Legacy, Not the Tax Bill

Creating an Estate Planning Dream Team

Q&A: Estate Planning with Life Insurance


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