Consider this: According to a news article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a 2010 study by the Center for Retirement Research revealed that as the parents of baby boomers die, their offspring are the recipients of the largest transfer of wealth in the country’s history, an estimated $8.4 trillion.
This can be good news/bad news, as much of what comes with that inheritance may not be quite so valuable. As scions of the Great Depression, the parents of baby boomers often were loath to throw away anything of potential or perceived worth. Thus, when they die, they often leave behind scores of items, which may be valued heirlooms and artifacts or, sadly, garbage.
Heirs might want to avail themselves of their parents’ possessions if they have any monetary value (which often leads to familial infighting, but that’s another story for another day), but not every generation regards mementoes with the same feeling.
In fact, baby boomers themselves may be in the lifelong process of amassing their own “heirlooms”. But discarding a parents’ legacy, i.e., their memories, directly to the dumpster may be a little short-sighted.
Then, and now, there remains a need to observe and even celebrate family traditions, and those things our parents and grandparents held dear provide that all-important place in your heart.
Understand not everything is going to survive a household purge, but if you make sure your heirs know what’s really important to you, they may share your sentiments. It’s even possible that if your wishes are made clear, some of your most cherished possessions will survive for several generations to come.