Clients often come to me when they are nearing retirement, or shortly after, to update their estate plans. They find themselves with enormous amounts of paperwork from their former job about their various retirement benefits, have started getting mail from organizations who want their money or time and may find themselves dealing with confusing insurance changes. We sit down and sort through this pile, making sure they get the benefits they are entitled to while also double-checking their estate plan.
While adding one more chore to the retirement check list may seem like a questionable idea, meeting with your attorney to review and revise your estate plan now that you are retired makes a lot of sense. Here are some of the reasons why:
- You can make sure the beneficiary designations on your pension plans or retirement accounts match up with your estate plan.
- You can revisit the people you appointed as agents – are they getting older, too? Would they be able to serve in the next few years if you needed help?
- You can discuss long term care insurance options with your attorney so you can be prepared for any meetings with your insurance agent.
- You can determine if any gifting needs to start to lower estate taxes.
- You can find out what would happen if you or your spouse needed nursing home care or more assistance at home.
- If you last updated your will when your children were minors, you can make the appropriate changes to reflect their new ages and maybe even make provisions for grandchildren.
- You can talk about whether your wishes for end of life care have changed, based on any changes in health status.
- You can give your attorney and financial advisor permission to speak with each other about your plans so they can make sure they are both on the same page.
Your attorney can be a valuable team member after you retire. She can help you sort out your plans so you can get on with the things you really want to do with your new-found free time!