Things to consider in your golden yearsPlanning, we do it every day. We plan for taking a trip, what we’re doing for the next few days and we even plan what’s for dinner.
By: By Joe Harrison, Superior Telegram
Planning, we do it every day. We plan for taking a trip, what we’re doing for the next few days and we even plan what’s for dinner.
What we often fail to plan for is what happens in our golden years. A few common questions that cross people’s minds include who will care for me when I can’t, who will be my beneficiaries, and for what should I plan.
No matter how old you are, or your current state of health, you should consider the following:
• Identifying a power of attorney: By doing this, you allow a loved one the legal right to manage your money and health decisions. When deciding who to appoint as your power of attorney, pick a loved one you can trust who will make decisions on your behalf in the event you’re not able to. Consider picking two different people so one can manage decisions regarding your finances and one can manage health decisions.
• Create a will: If you don’t already have one, now is the time to put together a will. Formalizing a will provides you the opportunity to determine which family members or friends will be the beneficiaries of your assets. This helps avoid family infighting that may occur when you let them determine how to share your assets.
• Use professionals to help you plan: Use an attorney specializing in wills and a trusted financial adviser when developing your will. During planning you, along with your attorney and financial adviser, can arrange for one person to oversee all of your assets. This person will act as the manager of your estate and handle all tasks to settle your estate, including paying off any remaining debt and distributing remaining assets to those named in your will.
• Pre-plan your funeral arrangements: This isn’t an easy task for obvious reasons. At a minimum, you should have it clearly spelled out in your will if you would like to be buried or cremated and where you would like your final resting spot to be located. Pre-planning may include making arrangements with a funeral home, allowing you to choose your casket or urn, your burial site and even what you would like written on your headstone. This will help ease your family’s decision-making process when the time comes.
• Keep all records up to date: It’s easy to let records and information become out of date when someone is ill or no longer able to care for themselves. Make sure you or a loved one consistently updates records and information with your bank and lawyer. Also be sure to keep all information in your will up-to-date as asset allocation and the loved ones you want listed may change over time.
It’s not easy to think about planning for what happens if you get sick or when you die, but doing so will give you peace of mind. To get started, meet with a trusted banker. They can provide you with additional information and guide you with next steps to take, which should include consulting with a legal adviser. Once you’ve taken the proper steps in preparing your future, you can relax and thoroughly enjoy your golden years.
Joe Harrison is the branch manager of Citizen’s Bank in Superior.