Having a comprehensive estate plan in place is beneficial to every adult at every stage of life. Being prepared when you head into your retirement years, however, is especially important for several reasons. Unfortunately, a surprising number of retirees are not prepared, according to a recent survey. To help ensure that you are prepared, the Long Island attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm discuss common estate planning documents that all retirees should have in place.
Survey Shows that Retirees Are Not Prepared
The Covid 19 pandemic caused everyone to focus more on the reality of their own mortality. That, in turn, created a heightened interest in estate planning and whether people were properly prepared. A survey conducted during the pandemic showed that a significant percentage of retirement age individuals are woefully unprepared for retirement when it comes to basic legal documents that should be in place. Specifically, only 53 percent of respondents had a Last Will and Testament in place, 32 percent had a healthcare Power of Attorney, and only 30 percent had a Living Will. Furthermore, just 11 percent of retirees had a trust agreement and a mere 19 percent had made funeral and burial arrangements. One in three retirees admitted that they did not have any of these crucially important estate planning documents in place.
Estate Planning Documents for Retirees
Knowing that so many retirees are unprepared for a serious medical condition, the possibility of incapacity, and even the eventuality of death is shocking. If you are a retiree, estate planning documents that you should have in place, along with why you need them, include:
- Will or trust. You should have at least a basic Will in place that dictates how you want your estate assets distributed after you pass away. A Will also lets you choose the Executor of your estate. A trust agreement can also be used to distribute your assets and can offer numerous additional benefits, including probate avoidance and incapacity planning.
- Durable Power of Attorney. As you age, you may succumb to the physical and/or mental deterioration that comes with the natural aging process. There is an increased likelihood that you will experience a temporary or permanent period of incapacity. If that happens, someone needs the legal authority to handle your finances and control your assets. A Durable Power of Attorney can give your chosen Agent that legal authority. Making the POA durable simply means that your Agent’s authority will survive your incapacity.
- Advance directives. The two most common types of advance directives are a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will. A Healthcare POA lets you choose an Agent who will have the authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make or communicate them yourself. A Living Will allows you to make crucial healthcare decisions, such as accepting or rejecting life-sustaining measures, right now in case you cannot make them down the road.
- Funeral planning component. By incorporating a written funeral and burial planning component into your estate plan you ensure that your wishes will be honored and save your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions while grieving your loss. You also have the ability to provide the funding for your funeral and burial through the use of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) if you want to save your loved ones from having to figure out the financial aspect of your passing as well.
Do You Have Questions about Estate Planning for Retirees?
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you want additional information about common estate planning documents that every retiree should have in place, contact the Long Island estate planning attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm by calling us at 631-265-0599 to schedule your appointment.
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