What estate planning tools can protect me and my loved ones during retirement?
Your retirement should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. You’ve worked hard to financially prepare yourself for your golden years. You may have stashed away significant funds in a retirement account, purchased a home wisely, and maintained a healthy lifestyle, all in anticipation of your ideal retirement. However, even with the best financial preparation, your retirement may be at risk if you have neglected estate planning. Our California estate planning attorneys discuss some estate planning tools that can provide you with peace of mind during your retirement years.
Advance Health Care Directives
Sudden illnesses or injuries can strike even the healthiest of retirees. Advance health care directives are written instructions that notify others how you want your health care managed if you are unable to do so yourself. You will appoint a health care representative who has the power to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Without advance health care directives in place, your loved ones may struggle to make decisions that you would support or an individual you would not have selected may end up in charge of your care.
Most Americans will pay less in taxes upon retirement because they will no longer be receiving an income. However, you will be taxed on withdrawals from taxable retirement accounts, a portion of your Social Security, and any ongoing rental, business, or wage income. By planning ahead for your retirement, you can take steps to minimize your taxable income so that you maximize your retirement funds.
By setting up a trust, you can protect your hard earned assets from heavy taxation and ensure they are passed down to the heirs you select. Your trust will hold your assets as a separate legal entity. A trustee is named to manage the assets for the benefit of you and your beneficiaries. With a revocable living trust, you can act as trustee and still maintain control of your assets until your death or incapacity.
These are just a few of the many estate planning tools you can use to protect your health and your assets during retirement. While none of us wish to consider the possibility of becoming incapacitated or dying, ignoring these potential realities could leave loved ones in a difficult emotional and financial position.