Estate Planning – the Ongoing Process
We all dream of a life well- lived and an idyllic retirement. But there are challenges surrounding the decisions of when to retire, where to retire, and how best to maximize the golden years. If you are one of the lucky ones who have had a plan in place for a decade or more about your approaching retirement, you can congratulate yourself…you are one of the few who do. Let’s hope that over the years you have “tweaked” that plan, to compensate for possible economic downturns and the eventuality of a “forced” retirement or other life event.
According to many statistics, too few Americans are planning or saving enough toward their retirement goals and fewer than half have made a Will or considered developing an Estate Plan. Many believe that estate planning is something that is done near the end of a productive life, but nothing could be further from the truth. Estate Planning is an ongoing process, sometimes difficult to begin, but once the groundwork is developed the reviews/changes/alterations to the Estate Plan become as ‘second nature’.
Adults with children are one of the groups at greatest risk when they do not have an Estate Plan. The court system is a poor alternative to parents’ well-conceived plans for the welfare of their own children. That is not to say that courts do a poor job of trying to create a safe environment for minor children if the parents are no longer able to do so. However the system is not a substitute for having legal documents in place where the wishes of parents are clearly defined.
If you do not decide, the courts will do it for you!
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