Estate planning is something that all Connecticut residents should do regardless of age. With that being said, people entering retirement have the perfect opportunity to look through all of their assets and plan accordingly for the rest of their lives.
Get all the documentation you need
If you have an estate plan in place, that’s half the battle. If you don’t, you’ll need to start getting things in place to create one. A basic estate plan will consist of three different documents: a will, a power of attorney, and an advance healthcare directive.
A will is a plain document that outlines where your assets can go and any wishes you’d like to be carried out, at the bare minimum. The power of attorney document will outline who gets to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated at any point in time.
An advance healthcare directive is a document that outlines who gets to make medical decisions for you. Once you have all of your documentation together, you’ll want to make any needed updates and create a timetable for revisiting the estate plan.
Probate and estate taxes
You’ll want to research whether or not any assets are subject to probate. While a trust can mitigate some of this, some assets have no choice but to legally pass through probate.
If you’re worried about leaving your loved ones with a large estate tax bill, you can start trying to calculate and put money aside for that now. Researching all of this now ensures that your family will have an easier time figuring this out once you’ve passed on.
Above all else though, it’s important to have conversations with your adult children and whoever you name to be the executor of your estate. Having conversations about your estate plan and last wishes will keep your children from being taken by surprise and reduce stress in the process.