If you are a Baby Boomer – born any time between 1946 and 1965 – you might have retired or might be approaching retirement. It is the right time for you to create an estate plan so that you can leave your possessions and hard-earned wealth to your loved ones and make sure your healthcare needs are taken care of in your golden years.
Importance of Estate Planning for Baby Boomers
Data shows that Baby Boomers are the wealthiest demographic group in the US today. They control nearly 50% of the country’s wealth and own more real estate, more businesses, and more equities than their Millennial and Generation X counterparts.
With this being the case, it is important for Baby Boomers to have a proper estate plan in place, so that their hard-earned wealth is passed on to their loved ones without any unnecessary legal intervention.
Unfortunately, data also shows that over 40% of Baby Boomers do not have an estate plan in place and many of them are not even sure whether they actually need one. The most common reasons given by Boomers for not having an estate plan are:
- I am not wealthy enough to have an estate plan
- I haven’t had the time to get it done
- I think it might be too expensive and not worth it
If you have not prepared an estate plan for the same reasons, you need to understand that you are misinformed.
Estate Planning Is Not Just for the Wealthy
First of all, you do not need to be wealthy in order to have an estate plan. Under California law, any estate which is valued at $150,000 needs to go through probate – in the absence of a valid estate plan. If you own a residential property anywhere in California and have a few vehicles for your personal use, your estate’s value can easily exceed $150,000.
Without an estate plan, your estate will have to go through probate – which can not only drag on for months but can also cost as much as 5% of the total value of your estate. So, you need an estate plan – more than you think you do.
You Don’t Have to Do the Heavy Lifting
If you have not gotten around to creating an estate plan because you think it might take too much effort on your part, all you need to do is get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney. The attorney will take care of all the complicated paperwork (after an in-depth consultation and based on your specific needs), and you only need to sign the documents.
It Is Not Expensive
Finally, the cost of creating an estate plan is miniscule compared to what your beneficiaries will have to pay in statutory fees when your estate goes through probate. Not to mention the fact that in the absence of an estate plan, your beneficiaries might not be able to come to an agreement on who gets what and end up dragging each other to court.
To avoid such problems, you need to have an estate plan in place and make sure you inform all your beneficiaries about what they stand to get in the event of your death. Consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to formulate the right estate plan that suits your needs.
Estate Planning for Baby Boomers – Three Things to Keep in Mind
- Estate planning is not just about assets with monetary value, but also about items with sentimental value. If you own an heirloom or an item of considerable sentimental value – which has been passed on from one generation to another – make sure you specify who gets to inherit it.
- If you have a minor child or a child or family member with special needs, you can designate a guardian to take care of them in your absence and make sure they get financial support for as long as they need.
- Make sure you grant power of attorney to a trusted person who can make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf – in the event that you are not able to do so due to a serious disease or injury. Also make sure you also have an alternative – in case the designated agent is unable to or unwilling to do what you need them to.
Have Questions about Estate Planning? Contact Us Today!
In the absence of an estate plan, the state gets to decide how your assets are divided and distributed after your death. The seasoned and cordial estate planning attorneys at Garmo & Garmo can create a personalized estate plan which takes all your needs and considerations into account.
We can create a will or set up a trust – depending on your preference – and make sure your assets are managed, divided, and distributed exactly according to your wishes – without any unnecessary intervention from the state.
To find out more about estate planning, call our firm today at 619-441-2500 or contact us online and schedule a personalized consultation with one of our experienced California estate planning lawyers.