How the baby boomers are failing to provide for the next generation

Date: Sep 28, 2011

Traditionally, parents would make an allowance for their children in their estate planning process - putting in place a number of provisions that detailed how their assets were to be used to provide for the next generation directly in their will.

But according to a recent report, a large percentage of Australians who are heading into retirement have yet to begin this undertaking.

A survey conducted by RaboDirect has shown that up to 30 per cent of the baby boomer generation across the country have not yet drafted a will - leaving their estate open to division under various state laws.

The danger presented by this scenario is that around one-third of people aged between 45 and 64 will not be able to directly provide for their family and loved ones in the exact way that they may otherwise wish to.

One factor that may have contributed to this statistic is the fact that - when compared to the members of the public that make up Gen X and Gen Y - baby boomers typically feel that they have a better grasp on their financial situation.

It could be that this confidence in their understanding of monetary matters and investment decisions has led this generation to feel that they have everything under control.

Consequently they may have overlooked what is a valuable tool in controlling the division of their assets.

Baby boomers have also shown in the study that they are more likely to live within their means than other generations and typically seek out advice from professional providers in matters relating to the control of money.

These facts would seem to indicate that these individuals - who are speeding towards retirement age - would be more comfortable talking with their lawyers about how to avoid estate disputes by providing their loved ones with detailed instructions in the form of a legal will.

The danger faced by the baby boomer generation is that their property and assets could be divided up by a third party - in some cases an executor may be appointed to perform this task - if they die without leaving legal instruction.

In legal terms this is known as dying instestate - without a valid will - and may cause family members and loved ones unnecessary friction during an already emotional time.

To help prevent this, baby boomers may wish to consider contacting a legal professional to assist them in drawing up these helpful documents.