Retirement can be an exciting time of transition. Your children have probably moved on and now have children of their own. After years of hard work, it’s time to congratulate yourself for a job well done!
It is also the time to revisit your estate plan or develop one that fits your changing needs.
An Estate Plan Is Important at any Stage
As a retiree, issues that did not seem important in younger years now top your list of concerns. Let’s look at just a few of them:
- Dealing with the After Effects of Incapacity. If you become incapacitated, who will handle your medical, legal, and financial affairs? Without the right estate planning, your loved ones may have to go through an expensive, time-consuming court proceeding to be named your guardian and/or conservator.
- Remarriage and Accidental Disinheritance. You may find yourself remarrying after a divorce or loss of your spouse. This is a perfect time to revise your estate plan. Without proper estate planning, your assets may be distributed to heirs according to the state’s laws of intestate distribution. Your new spouse could be given a portion of your estate that you intended your children to have. This amounts to accidental disinheritance. Your children may get little or none of your estate assets, just as if you had left them out of your Will.
- Long-Term Care May Become a Reality. About 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. Long-term care is expensive, and someone has to pay for it. Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for long-term care, only to learn too late that they are wrong. Preparing for long-term care should start before that care is needed. Without long term care planning, you could lose your entire life savings to long term care expenses.
Estate Planning Addresses These Concerns … and More
A complete estate plan includes a durable power of attorney. This allows you to choose someone you trust to quickly take over your affairs if you are incapacitated. Your advance medical directive puts someone you trust in charge of making medical decisions if necessary.
Your Will and maybe even a revocable living trust can make sure your property goes where you want it to. If you are on a second or third marriage, your children from prior marriages can be protected through your Will and trust.
And some trusts allow you to protect assets while retaining eligibility for the government programs that can pay for long-term care.
Estate planning can protect everything you have for everyone you love.
At Adams & Miller, P.C., we make it our business to help clients like you make thoughtful, informed decisions about their estate planning.
To learn more, attend one of our FREE estate planning workshops. Please call (256) 237-3339 to register for a workshop or to schedule an initial consultation. You may also request an appointment through our website. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham, but also serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.