SENIORS: BEFORE SPENDING IT ALL

Jan 30th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Estate Planning Essentials

Before all your resources are spent, you may want to identify a means for evaluating what intentional desires you have for your estate upon your death. Making decisions about your estate is an early on decision which prevents heartache and disappointment later.

For those who have structured their lives to take into account the consequences of choices, this will be less a challenge than for those who have lived day to day.  Resources must be tended to, like a garden.  If those resources are to provide sufficient income for yourself and, if you desire to be in a position to gift others, then intentionality will be a major influence.

Upon retirement, there are several practical and flexible issues that need to be taken into account. Having made out an estate plan in the early stages of retirement does not conclusively care for the issue in perpetuity.  Periodic review will be necessary.

Identifying a competent and trustworthy person or firm to do business with in your estate planning will, of course, be step one.  Likely, that has long since been determined and is in place.  However, circumstances may change that and will need to be revisited accordingly.

Depending upon age, number of heirs, condition and worth of your estate, health factors and other considerations, an estate plan needs to be comprehensive. All your assets and everything of value needs to be identified, and a plan created for where/to whom they go.  A trustee or trustees needs to be named.  A depository for necessary documents identified.

Critical Financial Issues to Review

The most difficult task may be deciding how your estate will be distributed.  Equal distribution, in those cases where there are multiple heirs to be considered, will need to be taken into account.  There may be extenuating circumstances which may influence that choice.  The primary issue here is not the meticulous distribution of minor items, but rather the bulk of the estate, which is normally held in cash, stocks, bonds, real estate and other such investments. Mineral rights, if any, will also need to be taken into account.  There may be persons who are to receive some inheritance, who will need assistance with the management of their share.  That needs to be spelled out and determined.

Once these decisions are made and formally executed, you will need to review your plan regularly (probably annually).  Placing restrictions on an estate plan is common.  Being sure the estate and those who share in it will benefit from your intentions demonstrates good management and healthy regard for both the largesse of the estate and those who receive it.



Tags: , , ,

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.