With roughly 40 percent of U.S. adults suffering from a mental illness, it’s time to remove the stigma surrounding the topic. With greater awareness, there is greater opportunity to ensure that those affected by mental illness receive the help or treatment that they need, not just now, but in the future as well. Estate planning for someone with a mental illness will give you peace of mind that your loved one will be well taken care of in any unforeseen event.
The odds that you or somebody in your family is living with a mental health condition are 2 in 5. Rather than dismiss these issues because they are uncomfortable, we recommend being proactive about these challenges so that you’re prepared for whatever life brings your way. The best way to do this is with the help of an incapacity and estate planning attorney who will be able to draft a trust that covers all your bases.
Nearly 50 Million Americans Suffer from Mental Illness
Saying that America is dealing with a mental health crisis is not an exaggeration. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 40 percent of US adults experience mental illness, which is an increase of 20 percent from the year 2020. Additionally, 1 in 20 who experience serious mental illness, and 17 percent of American youth experience a mental health disorder.
The mental health crisis has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Loneliness and isolation are fueling increases in anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide and self-harm, reports Mental Health America. More people are seeking mental health screening and treatment, but around 23 percent of Americans with mental illness are still not receiving the services they need.
Improvement starts with acknowledging that there is a problem. Talking to a healthcare professional about mental health struggles and treatment options leads to better outcomes. One improved outcome can be creating an estate plan that takes into account your own, or a family member’s, mental health.
Your Mental Health and Your Estate Plan
Every estate plan should be tailored to the individual’s needs and their unique family dynamics. A number of estate planning documents are available to address concerns about your mental health. Chief among such concerns is the possibility that, at some point, you may be unable to manage your own affairs. To prepare for that contingency, consider having the following documents in place:
Importantly, for these documents to have legal authority, you must have mental capacity when you sign them. To ensure capacity, you may want to obtain a professional opinion from a licensed mental health provider stating that you are of sound mind and understand the meaning and effect of the documents you are signing. Alleging lack of capacity is a common basis for contesting an estate plan.
In addition, if you are entrusting somebody with power of attorney authority, and that person has their own mental health concerns, you should discuss the issue with your family as well as your estate planning lawyer.
Your Beneficiaries’ Mental Health
Having beneficiaries who suffer from mental illness presents a different estate planning challenge. You must pass your legacy to them in a way that serves their best interests. Discretionary trusts and supplemental needs trusts are two ways you can look out for a mentally ill loved one even after you are gone.
There is a significant difference between suffering from a severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and a more minor issue such as anxiety or depression. Some people’s mental health issues can come and go over the course of their lifetime. Others’ illnesses are prolonged or recurrent. In some cases, a person may be genetically predisposed to mental illness that has not yet manifested. Proper proactive estate planning can protect you and your loved ones from whatever type of mental disorder may be of concern to you.
These are some of the factors to consider when making estate planning decisions based on mental illness in your family. Every individual and every family is unique. Your estate plan should reflect what you know now and be updated to reflect changes in your life and the lives of your family members. Contact us to learn how mental health considerations can fit into your estate plan.
Estate planning is a sensitive subject and it can be even more sensitive when the issue of mental health is involved. If you need to set up an estate plan, or revise an existing estate plan, around mental health concerns, we are here to help. Please contact our office to set up an appointment with an estate planning attorney.
Every February, American Heart Month begins as a friendly reminder to think about your heart health. This commemorative month was established in 1963 and prompts us to combat heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. Even with the high mortality rate of Covid-19, heart disease continues to be the dominant cause of death in the United States. Ultimately, American Heart Month is a great time to review your heart health and build healthy habits for the future. Of course, don't forget to consider who will act as your medical agent if you are unexpectedly stricken with a heart attack.
Various states have differing titles for medical agents, including a medical power of attorney, an advanced health care directive agent, a health surrogate, a health or medical proxy, and more. Regardless of the title your state uses, this person will make all medical decisions for you if you ever become too ill to communicate your wishes.
This person plays an essential role in making critical decisions regarding your health. Your medical agent should understand your medical wishes because they decide what care you will or won’t receive by communicating with providers caring for you. Also, keep in mind this person gains access to your private information, so you should consider all these factors before deciding who will act on your behalf.
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It is easy to assume anyone close to you is fit to be your medical agent, but this is not the case. Consider someone you know will stay level-headed in emotional situations since everyone handles stress differently. Your medical agent should be reasonably assertive because of the many family opinions and doctor recommendations they will have to navigate. This person should be comfortable silencing others opinion to focus on your wants and needs when making decisions.
Your medical agent should live close to you because something unexpected can come up at any moment. This person will have to act on your behalf quickly and efficiently so that you don’t have to wait for care if you are incapable of speaking for yourself.
It is crucial to make sure your medical agent is willing to set time aside in case of a medical emergency. Having this title is both time-consuming and emotionally draining, so reach out to the person you’d like to act as your medical agent and address any concerns. Doing this in advance will help you choose someone willing to take on this responsibility.
You must choose a medical agent who will make decisions following your wishes. The person you choose needs to set aside their own wants to focus on making the decisions you expressed previously. Your medical agent acts as your voice even if they don't agree with your course of action, so be sure to find someone you can trust to follow your wishes if you are incapable.
Remember, even if you believe someone is right for the title, some states prohibit certain individuals from acting as a medical agent.
Many states don’t allow minors to be patient advocates, but there can be exceptions. Also, remember not everyone over the age of 18 qualifies to act as a medical agent so talking with a professional can help clarify state restrictions.
Not every state restricts health care providers from acting as medical agents, but most do. These restrictions can be overlooked if the health care provider is a family member, but make sure to take the proper steps to allow this. Furthermore, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky allow your health care provider to act as your medical agent if they are an active member of your religious organization.
If you haven’t decided who will act as your medical agent, Anderson, Dorn, and Rader can help determine the best fit. If you need someone to act as a backup, our attorneys are willing to build a strong relationship with you to understand your needs in case of an emergency. We will ensure that your wishes are carried out and written as required by state law.
Contact us now to discuss how to properly name a medical agent, as well as discuss other advance care directives.
An estate plan consists of several parts and considerations, including a living trust. A living trust is a legal arrangement set up during a person’s lifetime that places their assets into a trust overseen by a trustee. The living trust also determines how the trustor’s assets will be distributed once they pass or become incapacitated. Some factors that may cause someone to create a trust range from tax benefits and avoiding probate to caring for family members with special needs. See how working with an estate planning attorney to create a living trust will help your family.
Avoiding probate is the most common reason for seeking out a living trust. Probate is the courts’ process of proving a will is accepted as a valid document that can be used to effectively distribute assets. There are several reasons in which you would want to avoid probate. The first is that probate can be a costly way to transfer your assets upon death. There are multiple parties that may need to be paid out during a probate proceeding, including the court, which add up quickly.
Probate is also a very lengthy process. It can take six to nine months (sometimes longer) to fully go through probate. There are many factors, documents, and people involved in the probate process, so it’s easy for complications to arise. Problems such as a contested will or an inability to find clear records of all of the deceased's assets and debts can extend this timeline.
Lastly, your probate proceedings will be publicly recorded for the court, meaning your case will become public knowledge and will be available to anyone. This significantly limits you and your family’s privacy which is not ideal during a family member's death.
A living trust provides tax savings to those estates that are subject to estate or gift taxes. There are many types of trusts to choose from, but the most common are irrevocable trusts and revocable trusts. A revocable living trust allows you to make amendments and changes to the documents as necessary, even during the trustor’s life. An irrevocable trust cannot be amended after the document has been signed, but it does offer significant transfer tax benefits that are not subject to the typical gift tax requirements. When you work with us, we'll make sure to align the type of trust with your family's tax-saving needs and other goals.
When it comes to your trust, it’s important for you to understand that a trust only controls assets that are put, or funded, into the trust. Living trusts need to be continually updated to accommodate changes such as marriage, childbirth, home purchases, and tax laws that could affect the trust. With a living trust, the trustor is able to amend the document to reflect their wishes. Because of this, it’s crucial that you work closely with your estate planning attorney to make sure your assets are properly aligned with your trust. This will not only help you get organized, but it will also make things easier for your heirs when you pass away.
Call our office at (775) 823-9455 or visit us online at wealth-counselors.com to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Estate plans are more than your monetary net worth. Categories of your estate can include real estate, pets, possessions and all other property you own. Some people forget how priceless personal property, such as family heirlooms and keepsakes, can be to those you leave behind.
It is important to work out what will happen to these valuable items after your death by creating an estate plan.
Heirlooms have been passed down to family members for generations. These items can vary in monetary value, but the memories attached to them are copious, giving them an emotional and sentimental value that shouldn’t be discarded or auctioned after your passing.
Keepsakes are slightly different from heirlooms because they apply to specific items you owned during your life. These items can be anything from cutlery sets, furniture, or jewelry that you left behind for your family. While these valuable items only have been passed down once, they have nostalgia your family wouldn’t want to lose.
Family members can have different values associated with certain heirlooms and keepsakes. It can be crucial to talk with each family member about their feelings and expectations towards certain items in advance. This common knowledge will help your family avoid unnecessary fighting for heirlooms or keepsakes after your death.
It is a good idea to decide if you need to have your family heirlooms or keepsakes appraised. By doing this, you provide your heirs with the necessary documentation to understand the value of each object passed down to them. Plus, you might realize you want to get some of these items insured due to their worth. Handling this before you pass will make it easier for your heirs to go through the mourning process and avoid unnecessary externalities.
There is no proper way to distribute these valuable and irreplaceable items after your death. Of course, these valuables could end up lost or undervalued if they end up in the wrong hands when there is no plan in place for family heirlooms and keepsakes.
Here are some ways to distribute these precious items to your heirs.
Some people prefer to equally distribute heirlooms and keepsakes to their heirs by focusing on each items' monetary value. An estates planning attorney can offer you guidance when understanding the liquidity of each family heirloom and keepsake.
It is important to note more than two of your heirs may desire the same heirloom or keepsake. You can resolve this dilemma before you pass by creating a personal property memorandum. This document is a chance for you to explicitly state your wishes and avoid any conflict that may come after your death.
One benefit to this type of inheritance planning is that a property personal memorandum is referred to as your last will and identifies who is to receive said property. Also, you don't need to execute a new will or amend your trust if you decide to make modifications to which heirs receive these family heirlooms and keepsakes.
You may prefer to gift special items to your heirs before passing away. Doing this could be a consideration if you find enjoyment in seeing how your family reacts to receiving their heirloom or keepsake.
Of course, you don't want to forget the gift tax you may incur after giving any items to your heirs while alive. Furthermore, you may want to consider if you should factor them into what share of your estate your heirs receive after your death depending on their value.
Anderson Dorn and Rader’s attorneys have the expertise and knowledge to help you create an estate plan that considers all your assets. Family heirlooms and keepsakes are just one piece of the puzzle. Define all your wishes for what your heirs receive with an estate plan to help avoid conflict between your heirs later on.
Many Northern Nevadans know the dangers that come along with this time of year. A 2019 statistic showed that 17% of all accidents happen during winter conditions, highlighting an increased chance for individuals to experience an accident due to extreme weather changes. Ultimately, no matter how long you’ve lived in the region, less sunlight, alongside rain, snow, and black ice creates challenges for anyone driving on the road. While no one ever thinks they will fall victim to an accident, knowing what to do after a fender bender is crucial to ensuring a headache-free experience.
Following these guidelines can help you document the incident calmly and efficiently.
While many people believe there is no reason to immediately report minor accidents, following these steps avoids unnecessary complications and significant penalties down the road.
If an accident occurs making you unable to speak or communicate decisions clearly, you will need to have someone talk to medical professionals on your behalf. This should be a previously planned and trusted individual who would be deemed your medical power of attorney. This person will arrange treatment with doctors until you regain consciousness, so it's crucial you've assigned this power to someone. Your medical power of attorney will expedite medical treatment in the case of an emergency. Furthermore, your medical power of attorney should know where to obtain a copy of this documentation to help expedite treatment.
Opting for minimum coverage can be detrimental to your savings and property in the event of a serious lawsuit. You and your car must be fully covered to prevent this from happening. Plus, you should speak to your insurance broker to find out if umbrella insurance makes sense for you. Umbrella insurance is a low-cost way to gain extra liability coverage and protect yourself from damages that may exceed the limits of your car insurance. Umbrella insurance ensures you have access to a bigger pool of money in the event of a car crash lawsuit against you, protecting your savings and future prosperity.
After a car accident with significant property damages and medical injuries, it may feel necessary to protect your assets from excessive lawsuit demands. You may attempt to do this by transferring funds to friends and family, but be careful because this is against the law in some states. These transfers used to protect assets won’t be ignored by the courts. If considered fraudulent, court judges have the full right and power to reverse transfers. This means that these assets can be obtained by the party in the event of a successful lawsuit against you even after being gifted to a friend or family member.
Revocable trusts are used to protect your assets and trust from creditors and lawsuits after your death. Unfortunately, while some people believe that these trusts protect their assets during their life, this is a misconception and not their design. These trusts fail to completely protect your assets because you have complete control of all assets placed in a revocable trust. Your ability to control these trusts means a judge can order you to revoke the trust to pay creditors and lawsuit judgments.
However, with the guidance of an experienced asset protection and estate planning attorney, you can use properly designed strategies to enhance protection for your assets and property. That means taking the time to sit down with an experienced attorney well before an accident occurs offers you the best chance to maximize asset protection for your estates.
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Contact us today to see how AD&R can provide you with the finest legacy and wealth planning advice Northern Nevada has to offer. We help get you the proper insurance and design estate planning to help you overcome unexpected lawsuits after an accident. Give us a call today so that we can help prepare you for the perils winter might bring.
To date, twenty-four states have enacted or introduced model legislation referred to as the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (Formerly Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act). The full text is available on the website of the Uniform Law Commission at https://www.uniformlaws.org/committees/community-home?CommunityKey=64ee1ccc-a3ae-4a5e-a18f-a5ba8206bf49.
Estate planning attorneys have noticed an interesting trend emerging in the United States.
There was a 14% increase in the numbers of people who are at least 60 years of age who are living with someone as a domestic partner according to a 2008-2010 United States Census Bureau survey as compared to 2005-2007 numbers.
In most cases the underlying reason that so many seniors are choosing to live together is that marriage can have negative financial implications.
Retirement pensions are one of the concerns. Many pension plans allow for the surviving spouse of the individual receiving the pension to continue to receive survivor's benefits after the death of his or her spouse.
Given the limited income that is provided by Social Security this survivor's pension can be the difference between relative poverty and a comfortable lifestyle.
In many instances the rules governing the survivor's pension state that it will no longer be paid if the recipient was to get remarried. Because this income can be so important to many individuals they simply don't get legally married.
There are other financial reasons why seniors choose to remain unmarried, not the least of which are the preferred tax benefits of a single person. If you make the choice to remain single, but live with your new partner, you must be certain that you have executed all of the appropriate estate planning documents.
The law will not recognize your significant other if you were to become disabled, need medical decisions to be made for you, or pass away without recording your wishes in a legally binding manner. However, with a visit to a good estate planning lawyer you can make sure that you and your partner are provided for come what may.
With a proper estate plan you can not only provide for your domestic partner, but you can also include an incapacity provision empowering your partner to act as your representative and handle your affairs if you were to become unable to make sound decisions at some point in time. You can also allow them access to you if you are hospitalized and name them to make medical decisions for you in your advance directives, should you choose to do so.
Comprehensive retirement planning is going to involve deciding where you would like to live after you put your working years behind you. People who live in many of the states have incentives to relocate. Some are looking for warmer climates, and financial matters can enter the equation as well.
Certain states have better tax structures for retired individuals than others, and in fact here in Nevada we are fortunate in a number of ways. Indeed, Nevada residents who are planning for retirement have some incentives to stay right at home.
We are one of the handful of states that does not have an income tax on the state level. This is a huge advantage and it is something to keep in mind if you are considering the possibility of relocating after you retire.
Another thing to consider is the legacy that you will be leaving behind to your loved ones. Some states have an estate tax on the state level. A few have an inheritance tax, and New Jersey and Maryland have both of these taxes on the state level.
There is no type of death tax on the state level here in Nevada.
If you are concerned about taking tax efficient steps as you are preparing for retirement you would do well to consider the advantages that we are enjoying right here in the Silver State. Most people would not want to make a move that results in an increased tax burden at a time when they are going to start living on a fixed income. Also, if you are looking for mild sunny winters, Southern Nevada is certainly a viable option.
Retirement planning requires a firm understanding of all relevant facts, so changes to the Social Security program are certainly something to monitor.
For most people Social Security is going to be an important income stream during retirement. By no means should you depend on it as your sole source of income, if you can avoid it, but it is certainly going to help.
Up until last year the Social Security Administration sent out statements annually to people who have been paying into the program. When you think about the volume of paper involved in something like this and the cost of postage you you realize that this is a very big expense to the government.
Since we live in the digital age and almost everybody is online the SSA made a shift. The statements are no longer being mailed to anyone who is under the age of 61.
However, it is possible to create a My Social Security account on the SSA website and gain access to your statement whenever you would like to see it.
In addition to this there has been a new announcement from the Social Security Administration. As of March of next year paper checks will no longer be an option. Recipients of Social Security are going to have to set up direct deposits or agree to payment through the loading of a special type of debit card.
Officials say that this move along with the discontinuation of some other types of government benefit checks will save some $1 billion over the next 10 years. These savings will certainly be welcomed by those who are concerned about the costs associated with administering the program.
Some need the money and postpone retirement or get a part-time job; others simply have the urge to keep busy in some constructive way during retirement and choose to do some type of work.
These days financial planning experts often write about the value of working longer. This can be necessary if you simply need more time to accumulate the resources that you need to retire. Others who don't absolutely have to work choose to do so because they want to have plenty of discretionary income so they will never be pinching pennies. Some simply feel the need to remain productive.
When you think about working during what would otherwise be retirement you can expand your vision; you are not limited to what you have been doing throughout your career. There are many different ways that you can make money from the comfort of your own home from freelance opportunities within your areas of expertise to maintaining an online store.
You could also consider going into business for yourself outside the home in a store or office. Many people incorporate their passions into a business later in their lives, such as a flower shop or a restaurant.
It is certainly nice to have a source of significant income going into your retirement years to make your Social Security benefit more of a supplement and less of a staple. You are in fact allowed to earn any amount of money while receiving Social Security without being penalized once you reach the age of full eligibility.
If you look ahead and take the appropriate steps you can potentially step right into your own business and work a bit on your own terms during your retirement.
Many people trade up throughout their lives and live in increasingly more valuable homes. This can provide you with an ever-improving quality of life while you put your money into real property. Depending on the markets this can be an efficient course of action all around.
Keep in mind, however, that you will still have to pay property taxes after the home is paid for during your retirement years. Getting a rather large annual bill is something that you have to prepare for when you are budgeting for the future.
Apparently a lot of people fail to do so. At least $7 billion in property tax liens are imposed each year according to the National Tax Lien Association. This statistic includes all people who are delinquent on their taxes and not just retirees,but a number of retirees are at risk when they fail to put adequate money aside for the big tax bill.
Individuals who fall behind on their property taxes can usually arrange for installment payment plans. However, this approach is not ideal because you actually wind up paying more because the county may charge interest. Planning ahead would avoid unnecessary interest.
This is one of the many details that you have to take into account when you are making long-term financial projections. Keep in mind, as well, that as your financial circumstances change, other aspects of your estate planning may need to be adjusted. Contact your estate planning attorney for your regular review and keep your estate up to date.
It is said that there are some things that money can't buy, and wisdom would certainly be one of these things. When you are planning your estate your primary concern is going to involve our valuables. However, you may be able to pass on your values as well by maintaining a blog during your retirement years.
A lot of people have an interest in writing their memoirs once they have the time to devote to the project. This is a great way to share formative experiences with people that you care about. There is no substitute for learning by experience and some of these stories may be very instructive to the people that you will be leaving behind.
But what about publishing? And what if you don't finish the book prior to your passing?
There is a very simple solution these days in the form of self publication on your own blog. You can actually start your own blog without having any particular technical expertise by using very user-friendly platforms that are offered on sites such as WordPress.org.
When you have your own blog you can publish your work incrementally as you see fit so your family and friends can always have something new to read if you are updating it regularly. If you work on your blog throughout your retirement years you will have assembled a significant body of work by the time you pass away.
While it will forevermore exist in cyberspace, most blog sites provide a publication service, so you can print off a book of your blog. Now family members and even future generations of your family can draw from your experiences into perpetuity. There is no time like the present, so get started!
The liklihood that you will need long-term care towards the end of your life is relatively high. Budgeting for this cost is important because contrary to the beliefs of some people, Medicare does not pay for long-term care. If you think you can just simply write a check and be done with it you may not be aware of the extent of the costs associated with long-term care.
Every year the MetLife Mature Market Institute releases a survey that contains a great deal of information about long-term care expenses in the United States. They have just put out their 2011 version, and once again long-term care costs have gone up significantly.
If you were to spend a single day in a private room in a long-term care facility in 2011, the national average cost was $239, which is a $10 increase over 2010 figures or a 4.4% increase. A year in a private room in a nursing home in 2011 averaged $87,235. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services the average length of stay is between two and four years.
When you see the facts it becomes clear that these are no trifling expenses. To devise a plan that prepares you for all eventualities, including the possibility of long-term care, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with a good Reno financial planning attorney.
A recent article in Forbes, quoting statistics provided by the Harris organization, found that out of 1022 people polled only 35% had executed a last will. Among younger Americans the figure was even lower as you might expect, with just 24% of the people who participated in the survey, under the age of 35, had executed either a last will or a living will.
Estate planning is an area where procrastination not only puts that person at risk it also puts there loved ones in a difficult position in the event of death or disability.
Most younger families rely on earned income to maintain quality of life. For this reason, it is essential that such families have an income replacement vehicle. This need is often met through life insurance. Coverage should be revisited as financial responsibilities increase. All families are well advised to implement a sound long-term financial plan. If this sounds like a good idea to you, take the first step and arrange for a consultation with a licensed and experienced Reno financial planning attorney.
When you are planning for your retirement you're probably envisioning beach scenes, leisure activities, unrestricted travel and a lot of rest and relaxation. To be prepared it is wise to budget for all the eventualities of aging. One of the things to take into consideration is the possibility of paying for long-term care.
Everyone is aware of the fact that some people eventually reside in nursing homes or assisted living communities, but there are those who take the attitude that this is something that happens to other people. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic, and some individuals who feel this way have taken good care of themselves. However, the statistics regarding just how many people do ultimately need this level of care is alarming. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that no less than 70% of people who reach the age of 65 are going to need long-term care of some kind.
The USDHHS goes on to say that the average length of stay for a woman is 3.7 years, and for a man it is 2.2 years. The national average cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2010 was around $83,500 and annual assisted-living community costs neared $40,000 on average.
Many will need assistance to address these costs. With this in mind, wartime veterans would do well to be aware of an often overlooked benefit called the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. Single veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day living needs can be eligible to receive as much as $1632 per month. You only need to have served for 90 days with at least one of them taking place during wartime to meet the length of service eligibility requirement. This benefit is something to explore if you have served in the armed forces and find yourself in need of long-term care at some point in time. You can do so by getting in touch with the United States Veterans Benefits Administration.
There are people who think that things will take care of themselves as the years pass, but the reality is that each of us must take responsibility for our own futures. There is more to planning for the latter stages of your life than simply anticipating your Social Security check and drawing up a last will.
You will eventually have to fund your retirement years if you do in fact expect to retire, and Social Security, even if it still exists in its present form by the time you retire, is probably not going to be enough. So if you want to be truly prepared you must anticipate your expenses and devise a plan that enables you to meet them comfortably.
There's also the possibility of incapacity. Approximately four out of every ten people who reach the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer's disease according to the Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's causes dementia, which can make it impossible for its victims to render sound financial, personal, and medical decisions. If you were to become incapacitated without making any advance plans, the court could appoint a guardian of its choosing to act in your behalf and you would become a ward of the state. This is a possibility that can be circumvented through the execution of the appropriate durable powers of attorney.
Of course there is also the matter of your legacy. Do you have specific things in mind that you would like to be able to do for your family members as your final act of giving? Do you perhaps have the desire to give something back to your favorite charitable organizations? If you do, these intentions will have an impact on your budgeting for the period of time that precedes your passing.
Because of all the different matters that must be addressed, it is a wise idea to tap into the expertise of an experienced estate planning attorney who has a thorough understanding of retirement and estate planning. He or she will advise you appropriately so that you can be sure that all of your bases are covered as you enter the latter portion of your life.
You may find yourself with a lot on your plate and when you do, you have to set your priorities. There are some matters that must be revisited every year, or every five or ten years, and there are others that are in your lap every day. When you are managing your investments things are changing by the second, and you are well aware of the need to constantly react to these changing market conditions. If you run your own business, the changes come in rapid-fire fashion as well and priorities can shift radically overnight.
This having been established, estate planning and the long terms plans that you have made for your twilight years are also impacted by the constant ebb and flow of change. When you originally construct your estate plan you have no choice but to work with the various relevant factors as they existed at that time. But things are always in flux, and what made sense in 1990, 2000, or even 2009 may no longer be appropriate in 2011.
This can be due to things that are out of your control like fluctuations in the estate tax rate and exclusion amount, the yield on your retirement investments, property values, and long-term care costs. And the need to review and potentially revise your estate plan can also arise as a result of changing circumstances that are specific to you and your family.
Depending on your age, health, and personal proclivities you may realize that the estate plan that you worked up ten or twenty years ago, or even the one you did last year is indeed outdated, but feel as though you still have plenty of time left to adjust it when you really need to do so. However, it is your loved ones who are in essence being asked to take that risk. Perhaps, it is best to stop procrastinating and have your plan reviewed right away.