The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s recent article, “No financial plan is complete without a basic estate plan” reports that, while Americans are living longer, it was emphasized in a session at the American Society on Aging’s 2019 conference in New Orleans that 56% of Americans don’t have a will.
The basic list isn’t particularly daunting. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer to create a will to get your affairs in order.
You should also sign a health care directive and a durable power of attorney. It is also important to decide where you want to be buried or cremated.
You should discuss your late-life goals and desires with your family, relatives and close friends. This gives everyone a better idea about your values and thinking. An estate plan makes things much less stressful on your family.
Many people want to leave at least some money to their loved ones. However, instead of waiting for death to pass on assets, more people are now deciding to “give while living.”
For example, grandparents can help to fund their grandchildren’s education expenses. Nearly two-thirds of people 50 years and older are giving some financial support to family members, according to a survey by the financial services firm Merrill Lynch and demographic consulting firm Age Wave.
Since you are already thinking about your life while devising an estate plan, it is important to understand that far more valuable than your money and assets is your accumulated experience, knowledge and skills. You can tap into your experience later in life to help others succeed. Your experience and judgment can help family members decide how to have both purpose and a paycheck.
Perhaps you can serve as a mentor for those in your community in areas where you have some expertise?
The desire to leave our families with a legacy is powerful. Don’t leave them without an estate plan. Remember that giving of our experience can make a significant difference to the community around us.
One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like yours plan for the safe, successful transfer of wealth to the next generation. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about your estate plan, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security. Our office is located in Santa Ana, CA but we serve all of California including Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.
Reference: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (May 4, 2019) “No financial plan is complete without a basic estate plan”