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Estate Planning Tips for All Ages, Part Two; Older Adults

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysFor many, estate planning is similar to doing your taxes. You know you should do it, but you put it off or procrastinate. Estate planning is especially difficult because it forces you to face your own mortality and have what can be uncomfortable conversations with loved ones about a time when you are not around anymore. Creating a comprehensive estate plan is critical to ensuring that your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes and that the end of your life is how you intend it to be.

Unfortunately, only four in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. The other 60 percent will have significantly less control regarding their property and final wishes than those who plan ahead. Luckily, there is no wrong time to start planning for the future, and there are estate planning steps that you can take at each stage of your life.

In Your 40s and 50s

When most people reach age 40, they have a significantly more complicated life than they did at 20 or 30. In addition to creating a will and/or living trust, people in their 40s should also pay close attention to their taxes. A licensed CPA can help you maximize your deductions and minimize your expenses. Some people choose to set up a Health Savings Account at this point in their lives. These types of accounts allow people to use pretax money to pay for healthcare expenses, which can end up saving a significant amount of money.

This is also the time in life when many people are caring for their aging parents. Nursing homes and other long term care facilities are quite expensive, so it is wise to consider these expenses when making estate planning decisions. It should also be noted that at age 50, you can start contributing higher amounts to your 401(k).

In Your 60s and Beyond

Before you retire, make sure you have a plan for how to turn your accumulated assets into a steady income. If you have not already obtained long-term care insurance, you may want to consider doing that now. A RAND Corp. study estimated that over half of those currently aged 57-61 will need some type of long-term care in their future. If traditional long-term care insurance does not suit you, there are also hybrid policies that offer life insurance with a long-term care option attached.

At this age is it also important that you have established a durable power of attorney, any advance directives you desire, and a release of information form for anyone assisting in your healthcare decisions. It is also a good idea to plan your final arrangements or even pre-pay your funeral as a way of lessening the burden on your family after you pass away.

We Can Help

It is common to have questions regarding wills, trusts, or other estate planning tools. For help with estate planning at any age, contact the experienced Lombard estate planning attorneys at A. Traub and Associates by calling 630-426-0196.

 

Sources:

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2017/08/28/Nursing-home-use-lifetime-need-estimate-RAND-research-study/stories/201708280083

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/04/30/your-financial-checklist-for-every-stage-of-life/4/

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