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Baby boomers' estate plans can match their values

For some people, creating an estate plan is not necessarily just about clearly stating where one's assets will go after one's passing. Many baby boomers now aim for their estate plans to reflect their moral values. For instance people who have spent years volunteering their time at animal shelters or the local food shelf may want their estate plan to reflect that passion for non-profits.

Fortunately, creating a unique estate plan that matches one's values is possible with some advanced planning. By planning ahead, people can arrange estate plans that fit their interests.

According to one recent report, for many baby boomers, determining which family members, if any, will receive assets in an estate plan is a significant decision. The report indicates that with the multitude of family arrangements nowadays, naming one's spouse or children as beneficiaries may not be the simplest solution.

For instance, couples who are remarried may want to consider stating who will receive which physical belongings upon each spouse's death. Otherwise, a widower's second wife could receive his first wife's china and silver when he dies. She could then pass down these family belongings to her children. In this case, the valuable family items leave the family line-when they could have been passed down to the widower's own children.

While thinking about complicated estate planning situations like this is likely quite time-consuming and perhaps frustrating at times, it is critical in order for the process of distributing one's assets to go smoothly.

Whatever one's concerns are when setting up a trust, will, or estate plan, talking with a professional about how to tailor one's plans to one's values and may be beneficial and help a person to rest easily after the plans are completed.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "'Spiritual' estate planning on rise," Donna Gehrke-White, Nov. 11, 2012

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