Friday, December 12, 2014

Estate Planning for the Retiree: Six Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Congratulations, you're retired! While you're beginning this new chapter of your life, here are six questions you should ask yourself about your estate plan:

1. Do you have a Will? If you've never executed a Last Will and Testament, now is the perfect time to create one. Meeting with an experienced estate planning attorney to review your specific circumstances is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out. Many attorneys offer comprehensive estate planning services with a completely free consultation.

2. Are you from another state? If you've joined us here in the beautiful sunshine state but drafted your will while you were living in another state, your will may need updating. An estate planning attorney can review your documents to determine if your will is effecting here in Florida.

3. When was the last time you updated your beneficiaries? We recommend you review your will every 1-3 years and upon any major life changes (such as a birth, death, or  divorce). If you haven't reviewed your will in the last several years to determine if your beneficiaries still reflect your wishes, now is a great time to do so.

4. Do you have a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person the authority to act on your behalf in certain matters such as banking, business, and other legal matters. Execution of a power of attorney is an important decision, and you should review and consider the implications that such a document will have on your affairs with an experienced estate planning attorney.

5. Have you planned for contingencies? Do you have a valid and current Living Will and Designation of Health Care Surrogate? If you should become incapacitated, and unable to make decisions about your health care, are you prepared?

6. Have you considered tax implications? It's important to find a lawyer who will work with your accountant or financial adviser to ensure your estate plan accounts for and minimizes estate tax burdens on your beneficiaries.

The Law Office of Keith Taylor has experienced estate planning attorneys who can help you answer these questions, and be your advocate and partner as you move into a new phase of your journey. We offer free estate planning consultations, and we would love to meet with you to discuss how we can help you. Contact us today.