Boomers Inherit Plenty, Including Complications

Sara Rowbotham Cornell inherited her parents’ 1870s-era New Hampshire farmhouse when her mother passed away. She has a watercolor of it hanging in her own home.

Farmhouse (Photo credit: joseph a)

But it took her several years to be emotionally ready to sell the place. The cost of upkeep, plus a visit to the empty house convinced her that she wouldn’t be selling her parents’ spirit or her memories.

Her struggle is typical of those undergone by heirs since the beginning of time. But the problem is coming to the fore more than ever now with the aging of 79 Baby Boomers and the fact that their parents were raised in the thriftiness of the Depression era.

A story in the New York Times cites a study that says boomers will ultimately receive a total of $84 trillion, most by 2030.

As a result, they are dealing with deep emotional reactions. The money can cause them to start new careers or simply retire.

Sometimes, heirs are reluctant to use the money on things they think their parents would not endorse. Others to the opposite route, thinking that since they inherited the money they can do whatever they want with it.

As for investing it, many follow their parents’ conservative ideas and put lots of it in the bank. Others use some of it to honor their parents’ memories. Others, if they had a strained relationship with their parents, use it in ways their parents would not like.

There is no right or wrong way to do it, the article says.

One thing is common. Many of the boomers had no idea how much would be coming their way and were not prepared for it. The article suggests parents have a conversation with their adult children about what they are worth and what the children are likely to receive. But the parents must initiate the talk, lest the children seem greedy.

If you have questions about a will or about estate planning in general, feel free to call us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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