Heading into retirement should give you a feeling of relief that your working days are over and your estate has been protected for you and for your beneficiaries. To this end, there are certain actions you can take before you retire to ensure that your personal and financial affairs are in order.
Prepare or Update your Will
It’s never too early to begin your estate planning. And a will is one of those important documents you can (and should) initially prepare at a young age. However, as you get older, it is important to review your will to make sure your early intentions have not changed. The distribution of your wealth and assets should be clearly detailed and your beneficiaries updated as you see fit. As you retire, you’ll want assurance that when the time comes, your heirs will be taken care of according to your wishes. In this respect, if you have not yet prepared a will, it is important to discuss the options with your attorney as soon as possible.
Have a Living Will Prepared
A will is necessary to protect your heirs after you pass, but a living will (as the name suggests) is meant to protect you while you are still here. This important legal document outlines the type of medical care you want for yourself if you are unable to make the decision. For example, pain management directives, organ donation and whether or not you would want to be kept alive by a machine would all be included in a living will. You certainly don’t need to wait until you retire to have a living will prepared. However, if you find yourself without one at retirement age, it is best to get one in order for your own peace of mind.
Gift Wisely Before and After you Retire
If you have assets that you want to pass on to relatives, it is important to develop wise gifting strategies based on your needs. There are advantages and disadvantages to gifting portions of your wealth before you pass versus after. With both financial and emotional implications to consider, it is important to work closely with your attorney here at Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd to develop a strategy based on your specific circumstances.
Consider the Types of Trusts Available
When fine tuning your estate plan before you retire, you should consider if a particular type of trust could help you achieve your financial goals for yourself and for your heirs. There are a number of advantages of establishing a trust. For example, a trust can establish a plan for managing your assets if you become incapacitated, as well as allow you to pass on your assets while avoiding probate. Additionally, certain trusts have the potential to reduce estate and gift taxes. There are a wide variety of options out there, but our attorneys can help you decide which trusts would be most beneficial for you and your family.
Our legal team at Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd is looking forward to helping you retire with confidence. Call our office at 847-223-1500 to schedule a consultation or visit us online to see why our community has trusted us for legal guidance for over 100 years.
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