Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Legacy planning: A meaningful Valentine’s gift for loved ones

Americans are generally living longer, healthier and more active lives, making it more important than ever to plan for the future. Whether looking forward to a comfortable retirement or the ability to provide for the people and causes we care about, most of us have a vision of how we want to live in our later years and what happens to our assets when we’re gone.

Yet, according to our latest study conducted with Age Wave, Leaving a Legacy: A Lasting Gift to Loved Ones, April 2019, nearly half (45%) of Americans age 55 and older do not have a will despite believing they should have one by age 50.

As rising longevity reshapes Americans’ later years, it’s critical that people take early and comprehensive steps to prepare essential documents, communicate their preferences and shape the legacies they wish to leave behind. Not only does this give individuals control, but it also helps simplify the transfer of assets and protect loved ones.” —  Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

There is no reason, however, to put off the future any longer. The planning process can be more straightforward than people might think, and taking action on one’s goals can be energizing as we consider the possibilities for our next chapter and the opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people we care about.

In fact, one of the greatest gifts we can give to our loved ones is to get essential documents in place now—such as a will, healthcare directive, and power of attorney—to help relieve family members of the stress of having to navigate important decisions and arrangements later.

Taking the time now to prepare for our later years can make a difference in our own lives as well—allowing us to relax and enjoy the moment knowing that our affairs are in order, our wishes will be fulfilled and our loved ones will be provided for.

Key takeaways

Download the full report, Leaving a Legacy: A Lasting Gift to Loved Ones.

Direct employees to the Education Center for valuable resources and tools, such as the Family Life Organizer, which can help them organize all their important documents and identify items they may not have thought of.

Share the Education Center article “Why now is the time to write your will”.

Provide this handy estate planning checklist and overview of basic estate planning documents.

Age Wave is not affiliated with Bank of America Corporation.