One of the best ways Baby Boomers can prepare for older age, and help their loved ones after they are gone, is to make sure their estate plans are in order. An estate plan protects and transfers wealth while adhering to tax strategies and other important considerations, the former being of special importance to those of us residing in Massachusetts. A well-designed estate plan can also ensure health care wishes and personal desires are followed.
Not having a plan, or an up-to-date plan, however, can leave decisions in the hands of others. This could devalue your estate, create unnecessary confusion, result in your loved ones turning to the court for help, and even cause infighting within one’s family. It is one of the reasons why we focus during the month of October, as well as throughout the year, on Estate Planning Awareness Week which promotes the importance of a sound plan through the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.
Whether you are revisiting an existing estate plan or crafting an estate plan for the first time, let us share four essential estate planning tips with you right here in this article.
- Wills and Trusts. These are the centerpieces of any solid estate plan, regardless of the size of the estate. A last will and testament is put into action at the executor’s death, while a trust agreement can be managed during one’s lifetime. A trust can also limit estate taxes and potential legal challenges. In that regard, the written language of these documents is extremely important and should be discussed with your estate planning attorney.
- Beneficiary Designations. Retirement plans, annuities, life insurance policies, and other investments, allow for the principal investor to name who he or she wants to inherit his or her investments when at death. This can be a spouse, multiple members of an immediate family, other individuals, or charities and institutions.
- Durable Power of Attorney. A power of attorney allows a designated person to make financial, legal, and other personal decisions on behalf of another person. A durability provision ensures that the document can still be used even when the creator is incapacitated.
- Health Care Directives. Health care directives ensure that there is a selected person to make health care decisions on your behalf. Be sure to consider choosing someone with matching end-of-life views as this person may be called upon to act as you would in this situation.
With so much at stake, do not wait to contact an experienced estate planning attorney for more information on this topic. Don’t wait to ask us your questions or attend one of our upcoming Trust, Estate & Asset Protection Planning workshops to learn about our Unique Process to help you and your family to enhance the security of your lifestyle, life savings, and legacy.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. If you have specific questions, do not wait to contact us. This only starts our discussion on how to prepare for retirement as a Baby Boomer. We encourage to take the time to review each of our critical guides with the information you need on this as well. Let us answer your questions about your unique retirement needs.
If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.
We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops. The next evening event will be next Thursday October 10th 6:30 PM at the Needham Council on Aging Center at the Heights 300 Hillside Ave. Needham, MA, Please call 800-964-4295 and register to discover more about what you can do to Protect your Home, Spouse, Family and Life Savings. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $1,500 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)