Here’s a notable but not often stressed point relevant to estate planning that a New York Times article recently passed along: within a few short years, more than one of every five Americans will reportedly be 65 or older.
And that means this: As scores of millions of senior-aged individuals and couples move from large family homes to smaller dwellings more responsive to their downsized needs, something has to go.
Namely, that is their stuff, the accumulations of a lifetime that now yield more than treasured memories and strong emotional feelings of attachment.
In fact, and for legions of people, the possessions that cram every nook and cranny of their homes now spell challenge and even overwhelming worry.
What can be done with all the material goods that have been amassed over the years?
That, notes the Times, is “a quandary familiar to many adults who must soon dispose of the beloved stuff their parents would love them to inherit.”
News flash: In truth, the kids in most cases don’t want much of it. If it is now overwhelming you (the would-be or actual planner now earnest about sound and meaningful estate administration), it will certainly turn their lives upside down.
And that is a point centrally conveyed by the Times piece, focused upon the observation that a veritable mountain of collected things must often be dealt with by families thinking about important matters like inheritance, family history/legacy and sheer practicality.
Put another way: Not every aspect of estate planning is always centered squarely on financial considerations, although such concerns are often paramount, obviously.
For many families, the lifelong accumulation of material goods must also be reflected upon and responded to in a way that optimally benefits current and future generations.
That subject matter can be addressed with a proven estate planning attorney and, when necessary, other professionals who are in the business of helping older Americans sensibly deal with a lifetime of clutter and downsize their lives to a more manageable degree.