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Surprising number of boomers do not have a will

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While the baby boomer generation is focused on staying young, physically fit and mentally alert to maintain its quality lifestyle, many boomers are not preparing for the future. Forty-one percent of baby boomers do not have one of the most important legal documents there is – a will. Without a will legally specifying the disbursement of a baby boomer’s assets, their worldly goods may not end up where they want them to go.

In today’s digital age, a will is more important than ever. A will provides for the distribution of a baby boomer’s property, financial assets and all digital resources, decrees what items go to what heirs and even makes provisions for the boomer’s pets. Baby boomers without wills are putting their spouse, children, partners and pets at risk.

Today, boomers have longevity on their side and many can expect to live into their late 80s or even 90s. But they still need to see an attorney and prepare a legal will. No one lives forever. And in most states, if you die intestate, meaning without a will, the state steps in and decides who gets your property regardless of whatever promises you made about inheritances. If it is not in writing in a legal will, it doesn’t count.

A Rocket Lawyer online legal service survey found 41 percent of baby boomers don’t have a will. Why? According to the survey, most boomers think it is 'too expensive, they don't have many assets to protect or they are procrastinating.' The top reasons boomers give for creating a will are to 'ensure assets pass on to the right people, make sure their family is taken care of and prevent family disputes.'

One of the survey’s most surprising findings is that 61 percent don't think it is important to provide for their pet in their will. Today, baby boomers own more pets than any other age group. It is troubling to learn that, first so many baby boomers do not have wills and second, they have made no provisions for their pets.

Today, 74 percent of baby boomers are dog owners, according to market research firm Harris Interactive. Baby boomers cannot assume that a family member will step in and automatically care for their pet if something happens to them. Too many pets end up in animal shelters upon the death of their owner.

To prevent this from happening, a boomer needs to make clear provisions about who will care for their pet in the event of their death. They can create a trust for their pet or direct that a monthly stipend go to the person who will take care of the pet.

Once a baby boomer does create a will, the document should be reviewed and updated every ten years or so. A will should be amended when things change in your life, like a divorce or death of a spouse or heir.

Baby boomers are all about staying young and active but they still need to prepare for the future by creating a will. They need to do it for the protection of their loved ones, including their pets. A will ensures that a baby boomer’s promises come true.

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