The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Estate planning for blended families.

with 3 comments

It never occurred to me before I saw this article but it might make sense to offer estate planning content aimed at blended families.  After all, Boomers are in the sweet spot for planned giving based on their age.  And the boomer divorce rate is triple that of their parents’ generation, according to Ken Gronbach, author of “Common Census: The Counter-Intuitive Guide to Generational Marketing.”  Although we know that individuals with no children are exponentially more likely to leave a bequest to charity, we also know that there are tax-advantaged gifts and income-producing gifts that can actually benefit heirs.  The key is to prompt a conversation with a donor.  Providing useful information, as an occasional article in a newsletter or as a free informational brochure might not be a bad idea.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

August 11, 2009 at 11:50 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Having a blended family myself, (we prefer to think of it as shaken, not stirred) I really understand the unique challenges this situation creates. Add to that the Boomers desire to leave a legacy besides their progeny and their rapidly changing financial situations caused by the economic crisis at the cusp of their retirement and you’ve got the most complicated planned giving prospects on record. Segmenting them and developing targeted messaging is going to be key.

    Kristin McCurry

    August 12, 2009 at 8:42 am

  2. Boomer these days are having a difficult time facing their own financial future. Add to this many ever-increasing families (to read blended). Their current situation makes it difficult focus on the future.

    In conjunction with this charities are feeling the same pinch. This is an unlikely environment to accomplish financial goals.

    However, giving will not stop! Boomers will, if they feel the charities mission MUST go on (“missionaries”), provide current and planned gifts (maybe smaller now but will grow as the panic subsides).

    Key, besides what Kristin has said, is relationships. Plain old hard and constant work to build MUTUALLY beneficial relationship is the only way for both parties to meet their needs. Now is the time call, write and put shoes to the pavement. But look for and create “missionaries.” Don’t let the current situation affect your future, “use” it to make your future.

    Jim McLachlan

    August 12, 2009 at 9:33 am

  3. Too many blended families (or their advisors)fail to address the somewhat awkward issues of asset protection and/or unintentionally disinheriting your own kids. From observing Elder Law attorneys, I found out that adding Jr to the title on Mom’s house avoids probate when Mom dies, but what if Jr is involved in a civil action and an inventory of assets is required? Does Mom’s house now become something “lien-able” for damages? Issues of “who died first” come into play when a singular death-related event (car wreck, house fire, etc) takes the lives of both step-parents. If Mr dies first, even by a minute, assets revert to Mrs; when she passes, all assets, including the deceased step-dad’s, go to her family, not his. His kids may be left without. Florida residents are also susceptible to ancillary probate. A FL property owner may also own real estate in another state (very common in FL); when they die w/o proper planning,2 probates, one for each state. These are issues I’ve heard of from FL licensed Elder Law attorneys and are not intended to be legal advice.

    steffan cress

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am

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