As baby boomers across the nation ease into retirement and begin considering estate planning, many of them are coming to realize that the question of inheritances is not as important to them as they once believed. A recent survey conducted by the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America polled baby boomers and Americans age 72 and above. The survey asked which was more important to them: keeping their family histories alive, or leaving or receiving a strong heritage.
Boomers in Agreement
Survey respondents overwhelmingly answered that maintaining family histories were more important to them than any inheritance they could leave or receive. 86% of baby boomers said they felt this way, while 74% of elders said the same.
Survey respondents also said that when it comes to inheritances: family heirlooms, mementos, and other items of sentimental value were more important. 58% of elders and 64% of baby boomers said such mementos were key to their inheritance planning efforts.
Further, when asked if leaving or receiving a large inheritance was important to them, only 9% of baby boomers said they were looking forward to receiving a lot of money as an inheritance. Only 14% of people age 72 and above said that leaving large inheritances to their children, grandchildren, or other family members was an important part of their legacy.
Keeping Memories Alive
The quest to keep family memories alive is often easier said than done. If you’re like many families, you probably have a number of cherished stories and remembrances that you share with your closest loved ones on a regular basis. While these stories may be important to you, that will not guarantee that your descendants will be able to remember them and pass them on.
To help you keep these memories, there are some simple steps you can take. You can, for example, start by collecting all the family photo albums and photographs you have. Review these and write notes on the back of each photo indicating where and when they were taken, who was in the photo, and what was happening at the time. Quite often, this process will lead you to remember important parts of your family history that you want to pass on to others.
Next, you can use modern technology to help collect and assemble your memories in a single place. If you haven’t already done so, you might consider using a scanner to digitize the photographs you have so you can assemble them in a single collection. Once you have all the photographs together you can then begin writing down your remembrances. If you’re more ambitious, you can assemble your remembrances and photographs into a collection that you can print yourself.
Hammond Law Group provide a Legacy Workbook to all clients who create a trust. The workbook gives the client a chance to write about their past and tell the reader what is most important to them. This workbook can be helpful to client’s families because it gives them something to cherish forever.
If you have any questions about the Legacy Workbook or Wills and Living Trusts, please call us at 719-520-1474 or 303-736-6060.