Retirement planning and estate planning often go hand-in-hand, and both are processes that you can begin early on in life. As you approach retirement age, though, there are a few key items to address in your estate plan regardless of whether or not you already have a will in place.
The core purpose of an estate plan is to ensure that your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries in the manner you provide. While a simple will can achieve this purpose well enough in many cases, you can enjoy a smoother transition into retirement with fewer worries by updating your estate plan with some commonly-overlooked items.
Trusts are versatile estate planning vehicles that work well in tandem with a will. Assets you place into a trust can often pass to your beneficiaries without the need to go through probate, making this a preferable option in some cases.
Power of attorney
Including a power of attorney assignment in your will grants powerful decision-making authority to a trusted representative person. This individual can oversee matters regarding your finances, your estate and even your health in the event that an injury or illness incapacitates you.
Whereas assigning power of attorney places someone else in a position of authority, including an advance medical directive in your estate plan empowers you to outline the procedures healthcare professionals should follow when administering treatment to you after an illness renders you unable to physically voice your wishes.
Your retirement years can be a time to enjoy life to the fullest, but it can feel unpleasant to deal with estate planning matters during this otherwise carefree time. Even so, addressing the major estate planning items before retirement can help you and your family enjoy greater peace of mind for years to come.