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Retirees need to engage in estate planning

| Jan 19, 2018 | blog

Planning for retirement is crucial for enjoying the senior years that people in Texas work so hard getting to. According to USA Today, baby boomers are forgetting to put a premium on getting their estate plans up and running. Without adequate estate planning, when a person dies, there may be chaos within the surviving family at a time when they are grieving and otherwise under severe stress.

Soon-to-be-retiring people tend to look at what their financial situation will be for retirement and how it may accommodate the activities they want to engage in at that time. They do not tend to think of what happens to that situation when they die.

Three main areas people should set up properly involve the following:

  • Offspring, particularly if the children are minors or disabled
  • Financial and other assets
  • Medical decisions

When putting together an estate plan, experts recommend having both a financial planner and an estate attorney. There should be an eye toward guarding against liabilities that tend to crop up in the senior years. Such liabilities include the distinct possibilities of long-term care expenses or divorce. A person who properly engages in estate planning in conjunction with retirement planning can take these factors into account.

Important documents when a person cannot make decisions

A living will, power of attorney and health care proxy are also critical in this era when there are high costs and emotions involved in health care issues. These documents may help people make decisions.

Frank family conversations

Speaking openly with family, however difficult the subject matter may be, is important if a person’s estate is to go in the way he or she would prefer. Splitting up a family vacation home may not be best, even if it feels more equal at first glance. One child may live on the other side of the country and get no use out of that vacation home. Likewise, with a family business, one child may be working that business while the other had nothing to do with it.

The state may decide

Lastly, if there is no estate plan, the state of Texas will decide where a person’s estate goes. Some assets may be subject to probate, others not. If people are not familiar with the state laws on where the estate will go, there is a good chance they will not have their wishes fulfilled once they pass on.