UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN DURING RETIREMENT
March 21, 2023
Retirement is a time of change, and it's important to update your estate plan to reflect your new lifestyle. Whether you already have an estate plan or need to start from scratch, there are important considerations to keep in mind as you begin this new chapter. This blog will discuss key questions to ask when reviewing your existing plan and provide guidance for those who are starting the estate planning process for the first time. With the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can create a comprehensive plan that protects both you and your loved ones.
If You Have an Existing Estate Plan
Having a properly drafted estate plan is a great first step toward ensuring that you and your loved ones are cared for. Yet, estate planning is not a one-and-done event. It's important to update your estate plan at least once every five years, and as major life events happen, such as the beginning of your retirement.
When reviewing your existing plan, ask yourself the following key questions:
Do you still own the same assets as when your plan was first created? What assets will you own at your death? Chances are, you have a retirement plan. While you may have a good nest egg built up today, that value may decrease as you withdraw retirement income.
Does your plan assume that your children or other young beneficiaries are still minors? A birth in the family usually prompts parents to create an estate plan. But, once drafted, many parents continue living their lives without giving much thought to their existing plan. As your children age, you should update you estate plan to reflect their maturity. Your focus may shift from choosing the right guardian to ensuring that your adult children's needs are taken care of.
Does your plan rely on proceeds from an employer-provided life insurance policy? Many employers offer group life insurance as part of their benefits package. But, as you move from job to job, or retire, you usually lose these benefits. If your estate plan relies on these proceeds to provide for your loved ones at death, it's time to explore other options.
Do you want to change how much your beneficiaries inherit and how they receive their inheritance? If you haven't updated your estate plan in awhile, you'll want to reflect on if inheritance amounts are still appropriate. For example, imagine that you have a trust that holds $300,000 for your child's benefit that will be distributed to them when they turn 35. Does that $300,000 still reflect your goals? Has your child aged past 35? What would like you the distribution sequence to look like now? Now that your child is older, and you know their needs and wants, you may want to increase or lower their inheritance.
If You Don't Have an Estate Plan Yet
We highly encourage you not to procrastinate any longer. You never know what tomorrow could bring. The only way to truly make sure your wishes are known and carried out is to have a legally enforceable estate plan.
To start the estate planning process, consider the following:
What accounts and property do you own? Do some inventory on what property you own, what bank accounts you have, what investment accounts you have, and how much everything is worth. From there, you can determine what you want to happen to these assets at your death.
What are the current and anticipated needs of your loved ones? No one knows your situation better than you. A trusted estate planning attorney can help you meet your goals surrounding providing for your loved ones.
How can you accomplish your goals with what you have? At DuPont & Blumenstiel, we are your estate, finance, and tax experts. We an help you develop multi-discipliniary strategies to reach your goals. Together, we can examine all options and come up with the best possible solution for you and your loved ones.
We are excited to help you celebrate this new chapter in your life! Part of this celebration should include a visit to our financial and estate planning team to ensure that this celebration can continue for years to come! If you're afraid of outliving your money, we can help you. Give us a call at 614-389-9711.
Want to learn more about how an estate plan fits in with your retirement? Download our Consumer's Guide to Estate Planning in Ohio here.