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Approaching retirement? An important estate planning tip to remember

You have worked your entire life and are looking forward to finally spending some time relaxing. Perhaps you are planning on taking a long vacation with your spouse, or maybe simply going to visit your grandkids. Whatever you decide to do, you are happy, healthy and looking forward to what is next.

It is easy to forget how quickly things can change. You may suffer an injury or illness at any time that makes it impossible for you to make decisions about your health care or finances. If you are not prepared for this, you could encounter serious challenges if you become incapacitated. 

In this post, we discuss how important it is for you to select a loved one to make these decisions for you. This will allow you and your family to be ready for whatever may happen, and provide you with peace of mind that things will be taken care of for you if you find yourself in this position. 

Looking at the estate plan that you have

If you and your spouse made your estate plans at the same time, it is likely that you entrusted one another to make these important decisions in the future. While this was probably a good idea when you were in your 30s and 40s, as you get older, you need to think about the fact that you may both need someone to step in and say exactly what should happen in a certain situation.

You should think about talking to someone to find out if they would be willing to perform these tasks on your behalf. If you have a child who is responsible enough to make these decisions, and willing to do so, this can make the entire process easier. For those who do not wish to put their child in this position, think about other people you and your spouse trust. Do you have a mutual friend who could act when needed? Do you have another family member (a sibling, niece or nephew) who could do this for you?

Once you have found the person you wish to appoint, discuss your wishes with that individual. Make sure that he or she is up to the task, and is willing to make the decisions that you request.

Then, speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that the plan you have in place reflects your current position. By taking these steps now, you can make this entire process easier for everyone involved. 

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