Estate Planning in Retirement: The Basics

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By Roger Whitney and RMA. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

One important aspect of retirement that not everyone is prepared for is estate planning. People avoid estate planning for various reasons, but a properly done estate plan is more than just documents. An estate plan is a way of continuing relationships and loving those people you leave behind in ways that you may not even imagine. Today we are kicking off our monthlong series on estate planning and we are starting with the basics. Listen in to hear what kind of documents you should have in place but also why they are important.

What is estate planning?

Everyone knows they should have an estate plan, but very few have or understand what estate planning really is. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging the management and disposal of your financial and legal life. The good news is that if you don’t have an estate plan the government has one for you. The bad news is that it probably won’t reflect your wishes. Done correctly, estate planning can be an important gift that you leave to those you care about.

Why have an estate plan?

Some people may be fine without a plan and having the state doling out their worldly possessions. The purpose of an estate plan is to close out your financial life. When you pass away you probably don’t want to leave your loved ones with a financial and legal mess. Planning your estate in advance is one way to give a gift of elegant simplicity to your family.

What does an estate plan involve?
  • Probate - When you pass away the process by which the state goes through closing out your legal and financial life is called probate.
  • A will - A last will and testament is a document that designates where your assets will go, but there is quite a bit of paperwork involved so an executor is named to manage the paperwork and distribute the assets based on your wishes.
  • Beneficiary driven accounts - These accounts have beneficiaries chosen when you set up the account. Beneficiary driven accounts include 401K’s, 403B’s, IRA’s, etc. The benefit of having a beneficiary listed on these accounts is that they get out of probate quickly and transfer quickly and directly.
  • Power of attorney - Another important document to have in place is a durable power of attorney. This gives a specified person the power to make decisions for someone who is incapacitated.
  • Healthcare power of attorney - This document allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you should you not be able to. If you don’t have one in place it could delay treatment. You can also specify specific situations in which you may not want life-saving actions.
How often do you review your estate plan?

There is more to estate planning than just having these things in place. I am not a professional estate planner. Think about talking to an estate planner to help you plan your estate. And remember that it is important to periodically review your will and beneficiary driven accounts. Do you have an estate plan in place? When was the last time you reviewed it?

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
  • [3:06] What is estate planning?
PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT
  • [4:34] An example of why estate planning is important
  • [9:14] What are the basics of estate planning?
Q&A WITH TANYA NICHOLS
  • [21:58] Should a woman seek to work with a female financial planner?
  • [26:49] Should you plan leveled withdrawals in retirement?
  • [35:09] How to factor secure income
  • [45:41] Why do we use average rather than the median in market assumptions?
TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT
  • [51:02] Review your estate planning documents
Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Align Financial

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

339 episodes