Why estate planning is important for baby boomers

For the youngest baby boomers in Texas, 2019 will mark their 55th birthdays. This occasion may prompt many in that generation to think about how they will plan for the future, including their retirements as well as passing on assets. The baby-boom generation is the wealthiest in American history, with over $30 trillion in assets to spend or pass along in the coming several decades. Nevertheless, many don't have estate plans. Up to 42 percent of baby boomers have yet to create an estate plan or even a basic will.

Of those who have made some sort of plan, many of their estate documents are years out of date. They may not reflect major life events like the birth of children, marriages, divorces or even deaths. In addition, they might not be updated to account for changes to the law, including the significant expansion of exemptions to the federal estate tax. Wills, trusts and powers of attorney all have an important role to play in passing on a person's property and fulfilling their plans for the future. Transfer-on-death accounts and life insurance can also be important.

Life insurance is often a good option because it provides immediate access to cash. This can be particularly important for wealthy people with complex or large estates as it may take some time for the estate to move through the probate process. Beneficiaries can use life insurance funds to cover final expenses like funeral costs or medical bills.

People who are thinking about the future may have a number of options to help them achieve their goals. An estate planning attorney could advise a client on the creation of a comprehensive plan and develop key documents that help provide for loved ones.

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