College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Marlene Stum

Pronouns: she, her, hers


PDF icon Curriculum Vitae

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Ph.D., Continuing and Adult Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., Family Economics, Kansas State University
B.S., Consumer Affairs, Kansas State University


Areas of Interest

Aging Families, Economic Well-Being and Financial Literacy
Decision-Making Issues and Processes in Later Life Families
Intergenerational Resource Transfers
Interpersonal Social Justice and Inheritance Dynamics
Advance Care Planning
Long-term Care Risk Management

I am not accepting new advisees for fall 2022.

Research & Discovery

Elder Family Financial Exploitation: Stum and her team are examining family experiences when elderly people are victims of financial exploitation by someone in their own family.

Families and inheritanceThe meaning and experience of interpersonal justice and family relationships. This project addresses a complex and challenging normative later life decision situation that few elders and their family members escape, but which researchers and practitioners have typically ignored. Inheritance decision situations present complex social, emotional, legal, and economic dimensions of transitioning possessions (titled and non-titled). Decisions about one’s estate can be triggered by an elder moving to assisted living or other type of living arrangement, relocating to live closer to adult children, as well at death. Inheritance decisions can occur during one’s lifetime (gifting) as well as after one’s death.

The overall purpose of this research is to increase understanding of the meaning and experience of interpersonal justice in the context of contemporary family relationships and inheritance decision situations. Three key lenses address gaps in the existing literature: a) interpersonal social justice perspectives, b) both titled and non-titled types of resources, and c) multiple family members perspectives (focusing on older parent/adult child, and adult sibling relationships).

Recent News

"6 books about downsizing to help you prepare," Neatspaces

"Issues of getting a divorce overseas," AZBigMedia

"When it's family: financial exploitation of older adults," National Association of Stop Guardian Abuse

"When it's family," Belle Plaine Herald

"COVID-19 and Advance Care Planning: Now more than ever," Military Families Learning Network

Stum interviewed for the Redux Probate "Probate Navigated" podcast about her work on "Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Plate"

Stum honored by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Money magazine features Stum's advice for estate planning

Stum advises in MarketWatch article "Who's getting the beach house?"

Stum featured in CNN Money blog on dividing inheritance

Outreach & Engagement

Long Term Care Decision-making: Research-informed decision making tools to help family members make more informed decisions and deal with potential conflicts surrounding long-term care issues. Includes:

Health Care Directives: Advance Care Planning. A user-friendly planning tool used to identify end-of-life preferences and wishes, and to identify who you want to make decisions for you if you are medically unable. Specifically developed to reflect Minnesota state law.

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? Practical and proven resources to improve family decision-making about the transfer of personal property.

Honors & Awards

2017 Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board on Human Sciences Outstanding Engagement Award.

2011 Invited Technical Expert Panel member for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program and National Clearinghouse for long term care information.

2007 Fellow status in Gerontological Society of America.

2007 Outstanding Conference Paper. "Financing long term care: Risk management intentions and behaviors of couples." Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).

2004 Financial Security in Later Life National Initiative. Outstanding Educational Program. Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). Member of national team and major contributor to resources.

2001-2006 Cooperative Extension National Initiative Development and Management Team Member for “Financial Security in Later Life.” One of 13 faculty nationwide nominated and selected for leadership roles.

1999 Harlan Copeland Award for Excellence in Programming for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™ (Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education) 1999 Commendation from Governor of Minnesota for Partnership efforts with Project 2030, Aging Initiative upon recommendation of Board of Directors of Partnership Minnesota

1997 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Florence Hall Award for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™

1997 University of Minnesota Dean and Director’s Team Award for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™

1993 Applied Consumer Economics Award for “Elderly and Out-of-Pocket Home Care: Are Expenses Catastrophic?” American Council on Consumer Interests

Select Publications

See CV for complete list


  1. Woosley, A., Danes, S. M., & Stum, M. (2016). Utilizing a Family Decision-Making Lens to Examine Adults’ End-of-Life Planning Actions. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 1-12. 10.1007/s10834-016-9497-0

  2. Stum, M. (2016).  Elder family financial exploitation:  The critical role and response of professionals.  Certified Senior Advisors, 66(2), 23-17.

  3. Barnett, A., & M. S. Stum. (2013). Spousal decision making and long term care insurance.  Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  24(2), 5-19.

  4. Barnett, A. & M.S. Stum. (2012). Couples managing the risk of financing long term care. Journal of Family & Economic Issues. 33, 363-375.

  5. Matzek, M. & M.S. Stum. (2010).  Are consumers vulnerable to low long term care knowledge? Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 38(4), 410-434.