We like to point out from time to time on this blog that estate planning is not primarily a task or an event, but rather an ongoing process. While an initial estate plan may take a matter of weeks or months to put together, estate planning itself is not something that should be considered done until death-the event that makes the planning necessary.
For boomers, there are a number of things to keep in mind about the estate planning process. The first is connected to what we just mentioned-getting regular estate planning check-ups. By this is meant regularly meeting with a financial planner and estate planning attorney to ensure everything is the way it should be with the estate plan. Eliminating the possibility of probate, minimizing death taxes, and making sure the inheritance gets to the right people are three major goals that should be reexamined periodically to ensure the right means are being taken.
Getting a good estate planning attorney is just as important as finding a good financial planner. As helpful as an estate financial planner can be in estate planning, it is the attorney who will draft the documents and who is familiar with the legal processes applicable to them.
For boomers, one important issue to keep in mind is what to do when a spouse dies. The first thing would be to get in contact with a financial planner or estate planning attorney to receive instruction on how to retitle assets and ensure that any accounts have properly updated beneficiaries.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, specifically some key areas in financial planning that need to be reviewed periodically.
Source: Fox News, “What Boomers Need to Know About Estate Planning,” Casey Dowd, September 13, 2012.