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National Survey Reveals Tail-End Boomers Avoid Participating in Parents' Estate Planning

05/05/2008

Survey by LegalZoom.com Finds that Younger Boomers Avoid their Parents' Estate Planning, while Older Boomers are More Likely to Discuss and Participate in the Process

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 5, 2008) - A new national survey commissioned by LegalZoom.com, the leading online legal document and filing service, reveals that the creation of a last will or living trust is one of the most avoided topics between younger members of the Boomer generation and their parents.

Conducted online during April 2008, the survey reveals a marked difference in attitudes between older and younger Boomers. Adults in their 60s are the most likely to participate in creating their parents' last will or living trust. Over half, 53%, participated in their parents' estate planning, with 34% initiating the conversation and 34% contributing to the actual cost of creating a last will or living trust.

By contrast, younger Boomers in their 40s are the least likely to participate in their parents' estate planning. Only 27% participated in the process of creating a last will and living trust with 18% initiating the conversation and 17% contributing to the cost.

"Estate planning is an important subject that all families need to discuss in order to protect their loved ones and significantly reduce confusion during a very difficult time," said attorney Robert Shapiro, co-founder of LegalZoom. "LegalZoom can simplify the process for everyone involved by helping people prepare a last will, living will or a power of attorney online."

The survey also revealed that there is a perception among younger Boomers that "other" people will take responsibility for helping their parents with their last will or living trust. Survey respondents noted that one of the reasons they haven't participated in their parents' estate planning is because they believe it is the responsibility of their older or geographically-closer sibling.

Interestingly, one respondent noted that their parents did not need a last will because they did not have an "estate."

"For a lot of people, the word 'estate' conjures images of mansions with rolling hills and horses. It's a common misconception," noted Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of LegalZoom.com. "If you have a house, a child, or simply a family heirloom you'd like to pass on to a specific person, you have an estate. And you need to protect it and make your wishes known with a last will or living trust."

The survey also indicated that there is a perception among Boomers that a last will or living trust may come with a high cost. Of respondents whose parents have passed away, 27% estimate their parents paid between $500 and $1500 for their last will or living trust. LegalZoom offers affordable Will packages starting at $69, saving consumers on average $471.00 when they use LegalZoom.

Conducted by InsightExpress, the survey sampled 701 adults nationwide over the age of 40 and measured their willingness to participate in their parents' estate planning.