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New Jersey baby boomers pay the price for poor estate planning

A woman from Mount Holly, New Jersey, had no idea she would one day have to shoulder the responsibility of caring for her aging parents, but that's exactly what she is facing right now. The woman's mother suffers from dementia and breast cancer and her father has bladder cancer that has made him physically fragile. Both of the 55-year-old woman's parents live in the family home and require full-time care.

This is a familiar American story, but it highlights how so many baby boomer parents failed to adequately plan for their golden years. The Mount Holly woman says her father once told her he didn't expect to live as long as he has so he saved money, but made no further attempts at estate planning or long-term care. She is currently looking into placing her parents into an assisted-living facility, but reports that she will make sure her own children never have to deal with the same problem.

According to the geriatric care management director for an elder center in Evesham, the Mount Holly woman's scenario happens frequently in New Jersey. She reports that baby boomers phone her facility every day hoping to find out how they can help their parents. She also said the problem of baby boomers facing the care of their elder or infirm parents has escalated over the last 20 years.

As baby boomers age, their parents are, of course, aging right alongside. Without an estate plan, we can't do much for boomers facing the care of parents already entering the final stage of life, but we can prevent this kind of crisis from happening to future generations. With help from an attorney, creating trusts or other legally binding documents that clearly spell out instructions for illnesses, resuscitation and long term care can greatly reduce both the financial and emotional burden of caring for aging parents.

Source: Burlington County Times, "Boomers caught in a generational squeeze" Steven Hart, Apr. 02, 2014

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