Leave an Orderly Estate Behind
Planning an investment strategy for retirement can be a pleasant diversion. It is often enjoyable to think about being a world traveler with the freedom to pursue hobbies or any of the dozens of options you’ve associated with retirement.
The reality is a little different. Once you retire, you’ll need to shift gears to focus on your legacy. The need to protect loved ones and ensure that intentions are clear require more planning. Also, these thoughts must be shared with family members.
While planning, here are some things to consider:
Make a list of assets and debts. Family members will need to be aware of these so share the information while alive and well.
Create a durable power of attorney. Name a trusted friend or family member so that bills can be paid and your financial decision carried out on your behalf.
Select an executor. An executor is the person you designate in your will to see that your wishes are carried out. For guidance, talk with a lawyer about how best to select your executor.
Your will may have been written many years ago, and many aspects of life have changed. Review your will with your attorney to make sure it contains your present wishes.
Reviewing benefits of a living trust will help accommodate estate-planning needs. Consider establishing a living trust that will provide flexibility in the distribution of assets and will help avoid the expensive and public process of probate.
Review your designated beneficiaries. The designations on your financial accounts and insurance policies may often supersede the instructions in your will. This makes it vital to update as needed because of changes such as divorce and remarriage. Make sure your heirs have the details they need to claim their benefits.
Share the location of all of your legal documents. Your family should know where you keep important documents such as birth certificate, will and living trust. If these are kept in a safe deposit box, let the family know where the key is kept.
Encourage openness and honest in communicating. It’s necessary to communicate final wishes to family members, but it’s also vital to listen to their wishes and concerns as well. As your children to agree on who gets any special objects such as furniture, mementos, and heirlooms. Strive for two-way communication with all family members.
The list of things to do to make sure your intentions are known and honored is exhaustive. Plan carefully, engage the appropriate team and put plans in motion. Being proactive will help ease the burden on your loved ones later in life.