Jul 9th, 2013 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Estate Planning for Seniors

This post will not apply to everyone.  Unfortunately.  It is written for seniors whose economic circumstances are such that you will be in a position to pass along some of your resources to others. For those who are in the quandary of having too little in reserve for their own retirement, this column may spur others to enlarge their sympathy for you and your circumstances.

Many who are retired and whose financial portfolio allows for planning the distribution of your estate, both now and later, are in a wonderful position to exercise enormous caring and support of others.

An article recently revealed a number of excessively wealthy, in company with Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, who are carefully going about spreading their great wealth, so that little of it will be left upon their demise.

That is something many would covet the ability to do.  Some will at least have the capacity to assist their children and other family members and maybe even have some left to extend to favorite institutions.

It is to these we speak.

Planning Tips for Consideration

Plan now to develop an estate plan that will allow for the thoughtful sharing of your estate. Include in that, if you haven’t, a deliberate means for distributing those funds beginning now and continuing over the next several years.  Of course, this is dependent on two things: the size of your estate and the need of family or institutions selected to receive your largesse.

Particularly is it important that a review be made of the recipients, in order to assure that your gift will enable the best outcome. While, you may have to second guess the answer to that, you likely will have some idea where need and assistance intersect.

For example, if family members are quite well off themselves, a gift of other than cash may be the appropriate thing to do.  Or, in that case a gift to an institution in their name, dedicated to charitable service, may be a good way to include them.

Further, given the unemployment conditions of the current landscape, a family member may have serious need for just getting by.  That, of course, should be managed in a way that is both sensitive and private.

If your family is small and your estate large, identifying organizations and favorite institutions who may be in line for a gift may be a pleasing thing to do.

One possibility that doesn’t always get attention is choosing an individual or family whose economic condition is desperate and who could well benefit from an unexpected, and perhaps anonymous, gift.   Again, such an act of compassion would need to be done carefully.

One of the satisfactions of gifting is doing as much of it as is possible while you are still able to enjoy the pleasure and joy that comes with the act.

With want and need so prolific today, studying carefully your own portfolio and your needs for the next several years, you will want to discuss your plans with a competent financial adviser, estate attorney, family members and others as may be appropriate.

The most important part of this choice is that it be done with your full participation.  Experiencing the personal satisfaction of laying out your desires and dreams as you live out the rest of your active life will be part of the reward for taking this initiative.

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