Many Arizona residents spend all of their lives planning for retirement. While retirement is the end goal for many, it’s hardly where your financial planning stops.
No one likes to think about their estate plan or what will happen after they die, but it’s a crucial part of being an adult. After you’ve retired, it’s even more important to ensure that your estate plan is up to date.
Why your estate plan is important
Your estate plan consists of documents and financial arrangements that stipulate how your assets are managed after you die, end-of-life wishes and appointing someone to make medical, financial, and personal decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Everyone’s estate plan looks different based on the needs of their family. Some estate plans consist of only a will outlining their last wishes, but others will include trusts or advanced directives that provide even more guidance for your family.
Why estate planning is essential after retirement
If you’re retiring, then you at least have some accounts with beneficiaries listed. More important than anything else, you’ll want to make sure your retirement plan beneficiaries are up to date.
Many people find that the list of beneficiaries on their life insurance policies and retirement accounts is outdated. For example, you might not have had children when you originally set up the retirement plan.
You might also have accumulated more investment accounts or properties that aren’t listed in the estate plan. Any discrepancies with beneficiaries or assets must be settled in probate court.
The probate process can take just days or months, going into years for larger estates – becoming a huge emotional and financial burden for your family. Checking on your estate plan with major life changes is a good rule of thumb.
As you move into the next phase of your life, you’ll want to update your estate plan accordingly. Even after making the initial updates, you’ll want to frequently check your estate plan and make any updates as necessary.