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Time for generation X to think about legacy and estate plans

Members of Generation X are in a unique period of life where it is time to think about an estate plan for themselves and also time to be sure they know what type of plan their parents have adopted. Anyone considered to be Gen X -- typically those individuals born between 1965 and 1980 -- may choose to decide what kind of legacy and estate plan will best suit their needs and the needs of their family. Michigan Generation Xers may benefit from some of the tips and guidelines below.

If a Gen X person or couple has minor children, having a will, powers or attorney and possibly a living trust is imperative. This is to ensure children are cared for as the parents deem appropriate should both die. This will allow for a timely transfer of assets and arrange for the day to care of the children, which could make a difficult situation much smoother for all left behind.

Generation Xers are at a point of having elderly parents to think about as well. If those parents have yet to start the legacy or estate planning process, the Gen X grown child and siblings may have to pay out of pocket if that parent's health fades. This can create family strife and lead to difficult financial issues for those who have children of their own to think about. It is considered appropriate that people of this age speak to their aging parents about what kind of plan, if any, is in place.

Thinking about a legacy or estate plan can be a challenging process and a difficult topic for some family members to talk about openly. Despite the difficulties or sensitive nature of the conversation, it is vital that it is addressed, particularly for those who are in the midst of raising a family and caring for aging parents. Any Michigan family who has not created a plan may want to explore what unique circumstances or challenges ought to be addressed as part of a comprehensive plan.

Source:, "Tips for Gen X Savers at Age 50", Mark P. Cussen, March 26, 2015

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