The phenomena of “waiters” is something estate planning attorneys are seeing with more and more frequency. A “waiter” is typically a baby boomer who is relying on receiving a substantial inheritance from his or her depression era parents when they die. For many waiters, the prospect of receiving an inheritance is becoming increasingly less likely as numerous demographic factors are complicating the issue.
For many baby boomers and their parents, the increase in lifespan that continues to lengthen as medical technology advances is posing a significant risk to relying on an inheritance. Many inheritances are becoming depleted by health care costs as parents age and need increasingly costly medical treatments.
Complicated Family Relationships
With increased life spans and an aging population, comes the greater chance that family relationships are complicated by divorces, remarriages, and blended families. The question of inheritance no longer involves only parents and children or grandchildren, but also children from a previous marriage, current stepchildren, former stepchildren, former spouses and other relationships.
Many baby boomers were hit hard by the economic downturn of the late 2000’s. Along with the decreased value of real estate, many people lost their job and saw their retirement savings dwindled to nearly nothing. For those relying on receiving an inheritance, the pressure they feel to receive wealth from their parent’s estate is only heightening, while at the same time that very inheritance is becoming smaller and smaller.