Are you approaching retirement? If so, you’re probably finalizing your plans and making sure you’re on solid financial ground. Retirement can be a major financial challenge, so it’s important to take any additional planning steps necessary while you’re still working.
However, you may want to focus your planning on more than just retirement. This is also a good time to review your estate plan. It’s possible that your life has changed since you initially established your estate planning documents. Maybe your plan doesn’t address every possible risk. Maybe you don’t have a plan at all.
Estate planning is important because it defines and protects the legacy you’ve worked so hard to build. It protects your loved ones after your death, and it can even protect you during your final weeks or months. Below are three estate planning questions to ask yourself?
Who should inherit your assets and legacy?
At its core, your estate plan is about protecting your legacy and distributing it to the correct individuals or organizations after you pass away. This is often done via a will, which allows you to specify which individuals should receive which assets. You might also consider a trust, which gives you the ability to manage and control your assets and how they are distributed, even after you pass away.
You should also review your beneficiary designations on things like life insurance, annuities, 401(k) plans and IRAs. They aren’t governed by your will. Rather, those assets are distributed to whomever you name as beneficiary. If you haven’t reviewed your beneficiaries in a long time, now is the time to do so. You wouldn’t want a child or a new spouse to be excluded simply because you forgot to include them as a beneficiary.
What will happen to your estate if you become incapacitated?
Estate planning isn’t just for what happens after you pass away. It’s also for managing your affairs in the final days, weeks or months of your life.
It’s possible that you may suffer incapacitation near the end of your life. Incapacitation is the inability to make or communicate one’s own decisions. It often happens as a result of Alzheimer’s, strokes or many other conditions.
If you become incapacitated, who will manage your assets for you? Who will make health care decisions and communicate them to doctors on your behalf? Who will pay your bills?
You can provide these answers and more in your estate plan through tools such as a power of attorney and a living will. Without this type of planning, you could leave your estate vulnerable to poor decision-making or outright theft and fraud.
How will the cost of long-term care impact your estate?
Long-term care is a very real risk for retirees. It’s the need for extended assistance with basic living activities such as cooking, cleaning, dressing and more. Long-term care is usually provided either in a facility or in the home. Either way, it can be costly and can drain your assets and your legacy.
Take time now to create a plan for funding your long-term care needs. You may want to consider long-term care insurance. Or explore hybrid policies that combine long-term care coverage with life insurance protection. That way, even if you don’t use the long-term care insurance, your beneficiaries still receive a death benefit.
Ready to protect your legacy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Gregory Financial Group today. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.
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