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Some estate planning priorities for people about to retire

Estate planning benefits people at all stages of their lives. However, those in each demographic group tend to have a few issues that they prioritize. As an example, parents with young children might put a lot of thought into choosing guardians for their children.

If you are in your 60s and about to retire, estate planning issues may include writing or revising a will, setting up trusts and deciding on health care directives.

Having a will

A will covers many bases in one legal document, including, for example, outlining who cares for your beloved pets and who gets your property after you die. If you die without a will, you cannot rely on your previously stated wishes being respected.

Setting up a trust

If you are about to retire, you may want to set up a trust for several reasons. One is to better protect your assets, helping them last longer. Another reason is to have more control over what happens to the assets after you die. You can even choose to leave assets in a trust for a grandchild if you think he or she would be at risk if you left the inheritance to one of your children. Furthermore, any assets in a trust are not subject to the probate process. As a result, your loved ones can gain access to your assets without the time and expense of probate. 

Deciding on health care directives

A health care directive can also be called a living will, and in Florida, you need two witnesses. At least one witness should be someone other than a blood relative or spouse. Living wills enable you to take control of your health care at a time when you are not competent to do so. You can lay out what types of treatments you might or might not want, and in what situations. Similar health care decisions that you may want to make include a surrogate designation and an alternate to the surrogate.

Retirement is a good time to do estate planning if you have not already done it. An attorney can help ensure that your wishes are laid out in a way that should withstand any challenges or chaotic moments.

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