The Baby Boomers want to distribute their estates according to their moral values. This increasing amount of social consciousness has led to a new type of estate administrationthat focuses on ethical practices and values rather than simply financial need, according to experts. Boomers want to make sure that their personal values are maintained as they pass down their assets. This has led to a significant increase in the number of charitable bequests, especially in the South Florida area.

Attorneys say that the movement accounts for more than a simple desire to leave money to a favorite group. Rather, Boomers are seeking a way to promote their personal values, leaving money with a purpose.

This desire raises other thorny issues, though, in this age of blended families. This is particularly true for Boomers who may have remarried later in life. Many of these couples struggle with their asset distribution plans, particularly when considering whether to create separate bequests for their children and current spouse.

Experts recommend using separate bequests for your children and your current spouse in order to prevent resentment. This can also bar a decision from your current spouse that would simply transmit assets to their children rather than yours. Consider, though, whether you have passed on your financial values to your own children and you can be sure you trust them with the allocated assets.

Parents have also been exercising their posthumous control by distributing assets unequally among their children. An increasing number of Boomers are leaving more money to their adult children who are financially disadvantaged. That may include having a special-needs child, according to experts. Tradition dictates that all children receive the same inheritance, but Boomers are translating that moral imperative into assisting their struggling children.

Regardless of your decision, it is important to discuss your plans with your family members before you pass away. Good communication will prevent an unpleasant surprise upon your death, especially if you have a non-traditional estate plan.

Luis E. Barreto