Estate planning early in your life is not the same as estate planning later in life. For example, there is a big difference between creating your first estate plan in your 20s and altering your plan when you reach your 60s or 70s.
As you age, you may find it more difficult to think about estate planning. Even if this is challenging for you, it’s important to take the right steps at the right time. You don’t want to find yourself in a bad spot, such as falling ill before you have everything in order.
Here are a handful of estate planning tips to follow later in life:
- Prepare for incapacity. You hope this never happens to you, but you could face incapacity at some point in your life. To protect against this, you’ll want to create a power of attorney for both your health care and finances. With the right attorney in fact in place, you’ll feel much better.
- Understand the steps you can take to help your loved ones avoid probate. This is something to think about any time you’re estate planning. The best way to avoid probate is through the use of a trust, not a will.
- Consider any steps you can take to lower the impact of estate and income taxes. There are things you can do, such as making charitable gifts, which can make you feel good now while saving your loved ones money in the future.
- Review your beneficiaries. Again, this is something you want to do often, but it’s even more important later in life. You want to make sure the beneficiaries you named in the past still make sense in the present. For example, if you recently went through a divorce, you may need to make some changes to this part of your estate plan.
Estate planning can bring many challenges to your life, especially as you age. If you’re in the later stages of your life, there are certain steps you must take to ensure that your estate plan is exactly the way you want it to be.
As you learn more about the best estate planning strategies and your legal rights, you’ll come to realize what you should and shouldn’t be doing.