Estate Planning for Mature Families and Retirees
Estate planning for mature families and retirees can get complicated. You may have adult children and grandchildren to consider, as well as other family members such as nieces, nephews or step-children.
Responsible estate planning involves both open communication with family members and getting organized about your current financial state.
What financial information do I need to get organized as part of my estate planning?
As part of your estate planning, you need to:
- Put together a complete list of your assets, such as your home, investments, and insurance policies. Then, determine who the beneficiaries are for your assets.
- Put together a list of your liabilities, such as loans and lines of credit. Don’t forget to list any debts you co-signed for!
- Write a will or review your current one and update it as necessary.
- Designate people to have power of attorney for you.
How can I distribute things fairly amongst my family members?
This part of estate planning is much more challenging than coming up with a list of your assets and liabilities. Many emotions are tied up in trying to distribute things fairly amongst family members.
While we can’t make the tough decisions for you, we can help you work through some of the challenges you may encounter during estate planning. For example, we can discuss different options for ensuring that your spouse and other family members are adequately taken care of, including minor grandchildren or adult children who may not be responsible enough to handle a large inheritance.
We strongly urge open communication with your family during estate planning to help decrease the chance of family strife or arguments after you pass.
How can I get the process of estate planning simplified?
You may need to work with various financial professionals during the estate planning process. Lawyers and accountants are the most common financial professionals who help with estate planning.
They can provide advice on how to best structure your estate, including:
- When it’s appropriate to use trusts.
- How you can an estate freeze if you want to distribute part of your estate while you’re still living.
- How to use insurance to help cover any shortfalls you may have when settling debts or taxes.