Last week, in a social setting, I overheard a woman state that she and her husband are not concerned about their retirement. She continued by stating the reason is that each of them will inherit large sums from their parents. I found this to be an astounding comment/belief. I cannot fathom how some people are relying on possible inheritance to fund their own retirement.
I did not ask this woman if she had spoken to her parents about their estate plan and whether or not she is a beneficiary under their plan. I would hope she was not assuming she was a beneficiary under her parents’ estate plan because, under Arizona law, parents are not required to include their children as beneficiaries of their estate. In my practice, I see many clients leave their estate solely to children and grandchildren. However, this is not always the case. Parents can choose to leave their estate to others such as charities, friends and distant family members. From time to time, I have clients who feel that charities are more deserving of their estate than their children.
In addition to the issue of whether or not this woman is a beneficiary under her parents’ estate, the issue as to the extent of the inheritance should be looked at as well. The reality is that many individuals do not pass on an estate. With the rise in long term care costs, many individuals spend the majority of their wealth prior to death. Even those that do leave an estate, the median inheritance is around $64,000 according Boston College Center for Retirement Research. Now $64,000 is a significant number but it is not enough to fund an individual’s retirement.
Take my advice, do not rely upon the idea that you are entitled to an inheritance.
Contributed by Phoenix and Scottsdale MH Estate Planning Attorney Katherine A. O’Connell
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.
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