From ensuring that assets pass to loved ones easily after your death to establishing clear directions about your long-term health care preferences, estate planning is often important for both financial and emotional peace of mind.
However, maintaining your estate plan is just as important as creating it. Financial advisors often recommend revisiting a plan every three to five years and making updates after major life changes.
If you have not reviewed your estate planning choices recently and are considering retirement (or already retired), it may be time to make some important adjustments.
1. Review beneficiaries
A lot may have happened in life since naming your beneficiaries. From the birth or adoption of new children and grandchildren to death, divorce and other fundamental changes in your family’s dynamic, now is a good time to make sure that your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and still reflect your wishes.
2. Consider a revocable living trust
Under a revocable living trust, you may be able to maintain control over fund assets during your life while ensuring those assets pass on to beneficiaries at your discretion. In addition to avoiding the often expensive, time-consuming probate process, this type of trust allows you to designate a trustee to manage assets should you become incapacitated.
3. Make sure you have an able health care surrogate
As you approach older age and the likelihood of developing health issues increases, it is especially important to make sure that you have designated a health care proxy. Creating a durable power of attorney for health care allows you to choose an agent who understands your treatment preferences and can help to ensure that medical providers know and follow them.