Estate planning- Trusts And Wills For Any Size Of Estate

As you near retirement, advice is everywhere you look. From AARP to your next door neighbor in Calabasas, to your dentist — everyone has an opinion. So what should you do?

One good idea is to work with a trusted professional. And that means comprehensive estate planning that uses wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and other tools of the trade. Estate planning before retirement can help you plan for the kind of retirement you’d like to have as well as have your end of life wishes honored.

Trusted professionals recommend taking a look at your retirement nest egg and make realistic projections about how far the egg can be spread. For example, do you want to live longer to be able to leave your offspring with an inheritance? Or do you want to retire on schedule and set realistic expectations for your potential heirs?

According to recent studies, 19 percent of the baby boom generation feels obligated to leave their children some inheritance. That number is up from three percent of boomers who felt that way in 2005.

The same study shows that among those who are already retired, the 72 and older crowd, 14 percent feel obligated to leave an inheritance. That number is actually down from 22 percent in 2005.

Why the change? Some feel that it is the current economy and the baby boomer acknowledgement that their offspring may have a tough road ahead.

Estate planning decisions are highly individual and some are irrevocable. Whatever your path, it is a wise idea to do your estate planning before you retire. After you retire, your options may be fewer.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Keep estate planning in your retirement mix,” Janet Kidd Stewart, June 8, 2012