As you approach retirement in Pennsylvania, estate planning becomes increasingly important. This is because you have accumulated a lifetime of assets, including your home, savings, and investments. You will also have developed relationships with family, friends, and charities that you may want to consider in your estate plan.
Estate planning allows you to control the distribution of your assets after you die. Without an estate plan, the state where you live will determine how your assets are split. This may not be your wish.
How to get started with estate planning
If you’re approaching retirement, it’s time to start thinking about estate planning. Here’s some guidance for getting started with estate planning:
Make a list of your assets
This includes everything from your house and car to your savings and investments. Place this list with all of your important papers.
Decide who you want to inherit your assets
You can leave specific instructions for how you want your assets to be used or divided up among your heirs. Have the disbursal instructions written down so there is no controversy over assets. Also, make sure that your beneficiary designations on assets like retirement accounts and life insurance are accurate and up-to-date.
Make a will or living trust
A will is a document outlining your wishes for your assets to be distributed after you die. A living trust is similar but can also be used to manage your assets while you’re still alive.
Name someone as your power of attorney
If you become incapacitated, this person will have the legal authority to make financial and medical decisions. Choose someone you trust and ensure they understand your wishes regarding your care and finances.
Keep your estate plan up to date
Your life changes, and as it does, so should your estate plan. So make sure you review it periodically and make any necessary updates.
Preparing yourself for the inevitable
Estate planning is a vital part of retirement. While it may seem troubling to think about death, taking the time now to ensure that everything will be taken care of can provide peace of mind. Proper planning can prepare you for whatever life throws at you during retirement. An experience estate planning attorney can help guide you through the whole process, and provide peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out the way you intend.