BOSTON (CBS) - According to AARP, most adults do not have will, but about 60% percent of Boomers (ages 53-71) have estate-planning documents.
Estate planning is an important part of your overall financial plan. How do you want your assets, what you own, distributed when you die? And who should get them? If you have accumulated a large amount of assets what do you with them? And if you have young kids who will take care of them if something should happen to you.
Should you leave everything to your kids when you die? Maybe? Bill Gates isn't planning to do that and Warren Buffet agreed giving most of his assets away to charity. Even Mark Zuckerberg joined them pledging 99% of his assets to a charitable foundation.
Many parents of adult children have legitimate concerns about what the money could do to the kids. You cannot pass along values and work ethics with an inheritance.
You may want to give away some of your estate while you are alive so you can enjoy seeing the results of your gifts. I like this option the best.
But only give away what you don't need. I have spoken with families where the kids think mom is loaded after dad dies. Little do they know that there was no life insurance, dad's pension died with him, and now there is only one Social Security check coming in.
Be honest with your kids about what you have and where you want it to go. Also be equitable in giving it away, unless one of the kids really is a pain in the butt and does not deserve anything. You don't want your kids fighting over your money after you are gone.
Some experts advise when splitting your assets among your children, that you consider a child that is doing very well may not need as much as a child who is not. That may very well be true but don't do it!
Divide it equally. The child that did well often worked very hard for that success and should not be penalized for succeeding.
You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
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