Reaching retirement is a major milestone in your life. It should be spent enjoying life and being in the presence of those you care about. It is a time to explore new activities which you may not have had time to engage in during your career. It is also a time for you to consider the management of your affairs during your retirement years and beyond. Having a proper estate plan in place can help to ensure that all medical and financial decisions, which must be made on your behalf, are in accordance with your wishes and that your existing estate plans are up to date or, if you never created such a plan, to establish one. Having these affairs in order helps to guarantee the relaxing retirement you have earned.

The Long Island estate planning lawyers of Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern focus on this area of law so you can focus on both your retirement and family. Read below to learn more about having a proper estate plan in place during your retirement.

The Consequences Of Not Having An Estate Plan During Your Retirement Years

There can be several consequences to not having an estate plan in place during your retirement years. First, if you do not have adequate powers of attorney and directives in place, then decisions regarding your health and finances may be made in a way that is inconsistent with what you envisioned. Second, if your last will and testament is out of date or, worse, if you do not have a last will then your assets may be distributed to those whom you did not wish to inherit. Furthermore, family members whom you did wish to inherit may find themselves receiving less of your estate than what you wanted them to receive. Your estate may also pay more in taxes and long term care costs than was necessary.

These consequences are felt far too often by individuals in New York and throughout the United States as a large number of people do not have an up-to-date estate plan. You can avoid such an outcome by being proactive and ensuring that your affairs are in order.

Have A Power Of Attorney In Place During Your Retirement Years

Having a power of attorney in place during your retirement years can give you peace of mind. This is an instrument that can be used to dictate which family member(s) will have authority over your finances in the event that you become incapacitated. The instrument can be as broad or as limited as you would like it to be. This ensures that your financial affairs will continue to be managed, regardless of your situation, in a way that you see fit. 

Also, having a health care proxy and living will in place allows you to choose who will make your medical decisions and decide what type of medical care you should and should not receive in the event you can no longer make decisions for yourself. This can prevent infighting amongst your relatives over who should make such decisions and what those decisions should be.

Your Existing Estate Plan Should Be Updated During Your Retirement Years

It is common for individuals to create an estate plan but not keep it up to date. This can mean, for example, that a last will and testament may leave assets to someone whom you no longer wish to inherit or appoint someone you no longer wish to be in charge as executor or trustee. It can also mean that your will does not include grandchildren, or other relatives, who were born after the drafting of your current plan. Also, an outdated estate plan is likely to exclude investments, and other assets which you have acquired since you last updated your documents. Finally, the current tax laws may not benefit your outdated plan.

One of the first steps in estate planning for your retirement years is to ensure that your documents are up to date and that they reflect your current wishes. It is also wise to meet with your attorney periodically to consider any changes in your life and revisions to your documents that are necessitated by those revisions.

Create An Estate Plan For Your Retirement Years If You Do Not Have One

Far too many people on Long Island, other New York areas, and throughout the United States have not created an estate plan even though they are in their retirement years. If you do not have a power of attorney in place, it may result in you being placed under Guardianship. It can also result in your assets a) being divided under our state’s intestate succession laws, and b) your relatives engaging in disputes with each other over inheritances, and c) your estate being unnecessarily taxed. You can prevent these issues by retaining a lawyer to assist you in creating a last will and testament, a trust, and a power of attorney.

Creating the right documents can ensure that your assets are divided in the way that you wish and perhaps that your heirs are able to skip Probate altogether. Also, proper tax planning can help guarantee that your hard-earned assets end up in the hands of your family and not the government.

Tax Considerations Become Increasingly Important During Your Retirement Years

As you enter retirement, it becomes increasingly important that your estate planning takes tax consequences into consideration. As you create a living trust or other such instruments, you must ensure that unnecessary taxes do not waste your retirement savings. You must also ensure that your estate plan is drafted in a way that helps to protect the inheritance of your heirs from being unnecessarily taxed. 

An Estate Planning Attorney Can Assist With Your Retirement Years

Maintaining an estate plan, and keeping it up to date, during your retirement years can be crucial to ensuring happiness during your later years. It can also ensure that your wishes are honored if you become incapacitated and beyond. Our Long Island estate planning attorneys are well-versed in New York law and will prioritize handling your matter. Call us at (631) 234-3030 or schedule a consultation today.

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