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Study says fewer people inherit wealth in the U.S.

Estate planning is important, especially for those who plan to leave an inheritance behind. Wills are one item that need to be written to ensure that items and assets are dispersed as per one's wishes after death.

Michigan readers may be interested to know that according to recent news, inheritance trends are changing. Many parents do not have money to leave behind, let alone money for their own retirement or care in later life. According to a recent study, only 16 percent of parents stated that they were planning on leaving an inheritance to their children. In comparison, 40 percent of young Americans think that there will be something left behind when a parent passes.

The research suggests several reasons for the changing trends. One factor is that because people are living longer, the retirement nest egg that may have been left behind in previous generations may no longer exist at death. Also, parents are paying more and more for the rising cost of college education in the United States.

Even when one feels that they do not have much to leave behind, it is often still necessary to do some basic estate planning. Many people will leave a house behind as well as personal and sentimental items. In order to express one's final wishes about such things, it is important to design an estate plan and keep it up to date with any changes--when grandchildren are born, for example.

Source: ABC 13, "Inheritance trends changing in America," Jeff Ehling, Dec. 24, 2012

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