There are many points in life during which an individual may have to consider their own mortality and what may happen in the future. For example, the months leading up to someone’s retirement are one of the times in which people have to accept the consequences of aging and think carefully about what will happen when they die or when their health declines later in life.
These are some of the more common estate planning moves completed by those creating or updating an estate plan as they prepare for retirement.
Think about nursing home care
Many people hope to live independently throughout their retirement years, but a large portion of those in their golden years will eventually require the kind of support only available at nursing home facilities. Older adults living on a fixed income may have a hard time covering the costs of nursing home care, and it may be necessary for them to apply for Medicaid benefits to pay for their room. Engaging in long-term care planning is therefore a common practice as people think about retirement.
Plan for a legacy
What someone intends to do with their property when their children are young likely relates to their absolute dependence on adult caregivers. However, once children have begun living independently, parents often have more options regarding the legacy they leave when they die. Thinking about the people and causes that matter most and finding a way to have a meaningful impact can be important steps for those who want to influence the world around them even after they die.
It can be uncomfortable to explore the possibility of becoming dependent on others, but that is a common occurrence during the later stages of retirement. Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related medical conditions can diminish someone’s ability to live independently and support themselves. Powers of attorney and advance directives can allow older adults to name someone they trust to manage their care and set their own standards for the treatment they receive.
Taking thoughtful estate planning steps as someone prepares for retirement can be crucial for their comfort and the well-being of the people who love them the most as they age.