When it comes to planning for retirement, the most important person may, probably, be a financial planner or someone to make sure that you have enough money to enjoy those years the way that you want to. However, equally as important is to make sure that you have completed your estate planning at the same time. Oftentimes people think of estate planning as a death plan, but in reality estate planning is everything before that as well. Incapacity can hit us at any time, and it’s imperative that you have your basic estate planning documents in place so that during those wonderful years, if you were unable to do something for yourself, somebody would be authorized to do it for you.
Some basic items that we always recommend everybody to have in place is a Financial and a Medical Power of Attorney, as well as a Living Will. These documents will allow you to make sure that your financial and medical decisions can be made for you if you are not able to make them. It will avoid any fights with family members or anyone who you do not want to have access to your information and will also avoid the expense and the emotional heartbreak of a guardianship proceeding. A Living Will will allow you to make your end of life decisions if you are “end stage medical”. This is a period in time when two qualified physicians state in writing that there is no realistic hope of recovery, that a person will always remain vegetative, comatose, permanently unconscious, terminally ill. If two doctors state this and that there is no realistic hope of recovery, a Living Will will allow you to decide whether you want heroic and lifesaving measures or whether you want them to withdraw treatment. The most important piece is that the individual gets to decide for themselves, so that their loved ones don’t feel as though they had to make that difficult decision to pull the plug or to play “God”. Finally, a Last Will and Testament will allow you to make the decisions about what will happen at your death and in the future, and along with your financial planner, who assisted you in making sure that you have enough money for retirement, they will, also, ensure that the assets are designated properly to go to the correct beneficiaries.
Enjoying your time in retirement and enjoying those wonderful years will be much better knowing that you have protected yourself in case of an unforeseen incident or accident, et cetera. The time to plan for that is now to allow you to enjoy each and every day to its fullest and not be worried about the worse-case scenario in case you didn’t plan. Enjoy those final years!
If you would like to learn more about this, please give us a call at 717-845-5390.