Right now, the largest generation ever in the United States is starting to retire. The Baby Boomers, born after the end of World War II, are finally reaching their “Golden Years.” If you are a Baby Boomer, that likely means you should take the time to update your existing estate plan if you have not done so in the last several years. An Overland Park estate planning attorney at Parman & Easterday explains why it is important for Baby Boomers to review and revise their estate plans.
Why Does Retirement Trigger the Need to Update My Estate Plan?
In the United States, the older population has been growing at a historic rate for some time now. Experts tell us that growth shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. One reason for this rapid rise in the senior population is the fact that the oldest of the Baby Boomers began to enter their retirement years recently. If you are among them, your retirement should prompt you to update your estate plan if it has been more than five years since your last review and revision. Routine updates to your estate plan are crucial to maximize the benefits of your plan. Updating your plan around the time you retire is important for several reasons, such as:
- Your financial portfolio has probably changed recently. For most retirees, their assets and liabilities change noticeably around the time they retire. For example, your life insurance policy may have changed from a term insurance policy purchased when you were just starting out in life, to a policy that now has a cash value. You may also now have significant investment accounts along with significant liabilities such as a mortgage. Moreover, your income will almost certainly change – both the amount and the source of that income. You may, in fact, start relying on assets for income that were heretofore considered investments. The more your financial picture has changed, the more important it is to update your estate plan to accommodate those changes.
- Your children are now adults. Like most people, you probably created your existing estate plan a long time ago primarily to ensure that your minor children were protected and provided for if something happened to you. If you are like many parents, however, you probably didn’t change the terms of that plan after your last child reached adulthood. As adults, your children no longer need a legal guardian nor is it imperative that you designate someone to manage an inheritance left for your children. You need to update your estate plan to reflect those changes if you have not already done so.
- Your health has probably changed. We are fortunate in the United States in that we can look forward to a much longer average life expectancy than our ancestors had just a few generations ago. The reality is that the natural aging process catches up with us sooner or later. When you created your existing estate plan you probably weren’t worried about things such as the possibility of incapacity, developing Alzheimer’s or the need for long-term care. Now, however, is the time to revise your plan to reflect those real possibilities.
- Your relationships may have changed significantly. A lot can change in 10 or 20 years. The people you appointed to fiduciary positions within your estate plan, such as a spouse, parent, or close friend, may no longer be in your life for one reason or another. Conversely, you may have added new people to your life such as a new spouse, grandchildren, or new friends. To ensure that your wishes are reflected within your estate plan, it is time to conduct a thorough review and make any necessary changes.
Contact an Overland Park Estate Planning Attorney
For additional information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about updating your estate plan, or you are ready to get started with your review, contact an experienced Overland Park estate planning attorney at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100 to schedule your appointment today.