6 Steps to Effective Estate Planning for Seniors

Estate Planning for Seniors and Family Caregivers: Getting the Conversation  Started - Companions For Seniors

If you’re a senior who cares more about spending time with your loved ones and planning for the future than accumulating wealth, this might be a good time to think about your estate planning needs. As the saying goes, age is just a number.

If you’re thinking of launching an independent and fulfilling retirement year from now, then it’s crucial to put together a solid plan that safeguards your assets and independence throughout life. Achieving your goals and dreams isn’t as simple as it sounds. You need to have the right resources at hand to help you on the path toward success. Luckily, working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help guide you through these unchartered waters.

Here are 6 steps you should take if you want to establish sound financial security for the rest of your life:

1) Understand your current situation

If you’re like most seniors, you’re likely in good health, financially stable, and living comfortably. That’s a great place to be when thinking about retirement. But there’s one more critical piece of information that you need to know about your current situation. It’s also important to evaluate how your age and health impact your financial security.

If you’re a senior, you’re now faced with a unique set of challenges. On the one hand, you’re probably physically healthier and in better mental condition than ever before. On the other, you’re far more likely to be faced with financial uncertainty and challenges because of your age.

2) Consider an irrevocable trust

An irrevocable trust is one of the most important financial tools you can use to protect yourself and your assets. This type of trust is designed to provide long-term protection for your assets. Whatever property you place in the trust is yours to keep, even if you become incapacitated due to illness or other reasons.

Not only does this safeguard your assets, but it also protects your loved ones from financial liabilities, like child support and medical bills. You can rest easy knowing that if something were to happen to you, the assets in your trust would not be taken by your loved ones, allowing them to remain financially stable.

3) Discuss your goals and objectives

Clearly define your goals and objectives when it comes to your financial security. Do you want to increase your monthly income? Maximize your savings? These are just a few of the things you can consider when it comes to your future financial goals.

While it’s important to consider your immediate needs, it’s also important to think about how your needs and goals will change as you get older. Perhaps you’re thinking about putting off Social Security until you’re 70 or older. At the same time, you might be interested in receiving health care coverage at a later date.

Whatever your objectives, it’s important that you stay on top of them, particularly if you’re planning on receiving retirement benefits.

4) Draft a will

A will is the most important document you will ever create. It is a legal document that outlines your intentions for your assets and transfers ownership of those assets to your beneficiaries. A will can help protect your assets and your loved ones if you become incapacitated.

If you don’t have a will, the state will appoint a guardian to make decisions for you until you can resume control of your affairs. If a will doesn’t exist, the state will take all your assets and give them to the people that you have named as beneficiaries.

While a will is a legal document, it’s also extremely important that you keep it private and confidential. We suggest discussing your will with your attorney to ensure it meets the needs of your family and your financial security needs.

5) Protect your assets with life insurance

Life insurance may be one of the least talked about financial tools for seniors, but it’s crucial to your financial security. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure you’re protected.

For example, if you’re in a car accident, or fall and break a hip, your insurance will help cover your medical expenses. You can also use your life insurance to fund your retirement, contribute to a retirement account, or it can be passed down to your loved ones.

6) Secure an income for yourself and your loved ones

When it comes to protecting your income and assets after you’ve retired, it’s important to think about securing an income for you and your loved ones. A trust can provide a source of income, offer liquidity, and provide tax-free benefits to your loved ones.

A revocable living trust can also help ensure that your assets are protected. If you’re planning on receiving public benefits like Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, it’s important to make sure those benefits are protected.