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Inheritances down with economic troubles

In the past, younger generations in Florida were generally able to count on significant inheritances after the passing of elder family members. This trend appears to be fading away with the new economy, however, leaving many Baby Boomers with fewer financial resources than their predecessors had. In fact, those in the new generations are often finding themselves paying for their parents' care rather than receiving monetary aid.

The older set has admittedly suffered many of the same financial losses as their Baby Boomer kin. Big bequests are down, however, since the Great Recession hit in 2008. As a result, boomers are increasingly being passed over for the traditional financial gains that accompany the passing of an older generation. Even worse than missing these windfalls, the younger generations are now becoming responsible for their ailing parents' expensive medical care.

As a result, more families are finding themselves hard-pressed for financial resources. Younger relatives are struggling to reconcile their expectations with the leaner economic times, a situation that causes additional conflict and angst during an already stressful period.

The primary factor responsible for this depletion in inheritances is simple: We are all living longer. Medical progress has increased the odds for a 65-year-old man to reach age 80 to 60 percent. That same man has a 40 percent chance of living to age 85. Women's survival rates have increased at even higher rates. Rising health care costs accompany this vast life extension, often depleting savings before they can be passed down. Most people do not expect to live into their 90s, and their children are not prepared to absorb the rising costs of elder care.

If you are concerned about your estate plan or that of an esteemed relative, consider consulting a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about strategies to provide adequate and predictable financial resources for upcoming generations.

Source:  stream.wsj.com, "Counting on an inheritance? Count again" Anne Tergesen, May. 28, 2013