Retirement is an ideal time to update your estate plan. Not only will you have more free time on your hands to do it, but you are entering a new phase of your life where your priorities may change.
What updates should you make to your estate plan?
Here are some of the key elements to look at when ensuring your estate plan is fit for its intensed purposes:
- Update your beneficiary designations: If these do not reflect your wishes, funds could go to the wrong people.
- Revise your will: Check that your will takes account of your updated beneficiary designations. Failing to do so could lead to confusion or disputes amongst your family when you die.
- Check your advanced health care directive: You may have changed your mind about which life-saving treatments medics can use should you need them.
- Consider your health care funding: If you have too much money in your estate, you may be ineligible for Medicaid. You could wind up depleting your savings, leaving nothing for your family. Remember that Medicaid operates a five-year look back. They will count any assets you have transferred to your family within the last five years when assessing your funding eligibility.
- Revise your powers of attorney: Make sure anyone you have named is still alive and fit to act on your behalf if required.
- Minimize transfer taxes: You might consider gifting assets if you are sure you will no longer need them.
Take time and seek legal advice when revising your estate plan. There may have been changes to tax planning laws which you could use to benefit your family and yourself. While this may not be your last estate planning update, it is an excellent opportunity to put things in order.