You have probably been looking forward to the day you retire. That day is fast approaching, reminding you that you are getting older.
This makes you realize that you and your spouse should prepare an estate plan. You want something simple and economical, yet effective, something that gives you peace of mind. Here are three suggestions.
1. A simple will
A will is the cornerstone of a basic estate plan. Appoint an executor you trust to administer your estate after you pass on. In your will, you can provide instructions as to the distribution of your assets, which may include your home, your vehicle, various personal possessions and the contents of your bank accounts. Your executor will pay your bills, file your final tax returns and distribute assets to beneficiaries according to your wishes.
2. A living will
If you should become incapacitated or fall seriously ill to the extent that you can no longer make decisions about your medical care, a living will may put your mind at ease. Also called an advance directive, this provides instructions as to your wishes concerning medical decisions. For example, in the most serious of circumstances, do you want doctors to keep you alive with a ventilator? The person entrusted with your medical power of attorney may need to refer to your living will.
3. Powers of attorney
Through both a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney, you can name people you trust to act on your behalf if you cannot do so. One person can make healthcare decisions and another can manage your financial affairs. If you prefer, you can also name one person to act on your behalf in both areas.
More than half of the adults in America do not have a will. That this is at the top of your list of estate planning tools shows how much family means to you and your spouse. Seek legal guidance to better understand how basic estate planning can reduce the burdens that your loved ones would otherwise deal with and provide the peace of mind that allows you to enjoy your retirement years.