The Retirement Guys: 5 tips to help efficiently plan your estateWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last couple weeks we have written articles for Toledo Free Press called Five Tips To Help You Prepare for Retirement and Five Tips To Help Protect Your Retirement Assets (You can also check them out at www.retirementguysnetwork.com). Here is part three of our three-part series that focuses on The Retirement Guys’ three-part process called The Retirement Game Plan (Manage Your Money, Preserve Your Assets, Efficiently Plan Your Estate).
In the previous column on protecting your assets, we talked about the idea of approaching retirement or being retired. In this column we will focus on one of the two things for sure in life: death (the other being taxes). As we get older we all realize how fast life flies by. It seemed like only yesterday that you were starting out in your adult life to figure out how to make your way in the world.
I (Mark) laughed when I heard the comedian Louie Anderson joke about being older and the realization of time flying. Referring to that particular day being over, he said, “Is it over? Really? Oh, no! All I did today was have a bowl of soup!” Don’t days seem like that? You blink and the day is over. So, now that we realize time is flying we start thinking about where we want all our stuff to go when we die. (This prompts another scary thought—the TV show “Hoarders.” You know who you are.)
As a lawyer who prepares estate planning documents, it is rare to have younger people approach me to do it. I have even offered to do it free for the some of the children of my older clients and not one has taken me up on the offer. They are too young and busy doing what I mentioned earlier — making their way in the world.
The Retirement Guys talk about “efficiently” planning your estate. The idea of passing on all your stuff, your money, your assets, etc., to the people you want it all to go to. So what are some useful tips in getting this done? Here are a few:
- Git ‘er done! You have read about all of the horror stories of famous people’s estates. Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and even James Gandolfini (we wrote a column some time back called “Did Tony Soprano get whacked by the IRS?” — you can look it up in our archives on our website at www.retirementguysnetwork.com). It’s easy to procrastinate about doing something that may seem unpleasant, like planning for your own death. But it can be a mess for your family if you don’t get around to it.
- Decide What You Want to Accomplish. Do you want to leave a legacy to your family? Do you want to help a charitable cause? Do you want certain people to receive sentimental items? There are many questions like this to ask yourself.
- Decide What Kind of Estate Plan Is Best For You. Will? Trust? This can depend on whether probate avoidance is desired or perhaps some special way of distributing assets that may not occur all at once.
- Get The Documents That Will Help You While You Are Still Alive. A will kicks in when you die. If you become incapacitated you should have documents that allow someone to step in and act on your behalf in a timely manner. Durable Power of Attorney, Health Power of Attorney, Living Will, etc.
- A Will or Trust Does Not Necessarily Control Where Everything Goes. Many don’t realize that accounts like IRAs, Retirement Accounts, Life Insurance, Annuities, etc., have beneficiary designations. These designations control where these accounts go. This might be different than what your will or trust says.
There are many more things to consider than we have space for here. Make sure you consult with a qualified attorney to discuss all the issues when beginning the process of creating an efficient estate plan. For more information on The Retirement Game Plan, go to www.retirementguysnetwork.com. As always, have a happy retirement.
For more information about The Retirement Guys, tune in every Saturday at 1 PM on 1370 WSPD or visit www.retirementguysradio.com. Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc., Member FINRA / SIPC. NEXT Financial Group, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. The Retirement Guys are not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group. The office is at 1700 Woodlands Drive, Suite 100, Maumee, OH 43537. 419-842-0550