Those born between the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s are at a critical point in their life today. Most of these baby boomers have stopped working entirely or are nearing retirement age, and many are thinking about what will come next in their third act of life. For these people and their families, estate planning is of critical importance. At the office of Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, we provide estate planning services you can trust. Reach out to us today for a consultation to get started.
Are Baby Boomers Ready for Retirement?
While each person’s financial situation is unique, as a cohort, baby boomers tend to be less ready for retirement than members of the previous generation. While there’s no easy answer to explain this, one theory is that baby boomers grew up during a time when the economy was more stable, which led to more consumer confidence and more spending. This is in contrast to earlier generations who lived through wars and the Great Depression—those in these time periods were often more frugal as a result.
What Should Baby Boomers Think About When Estate Planning?
Unfortunately, while many baby boomers are thinking about retiring any day and many may even be approaching their end-of-life years, too few have a solid estate plan in place. Here are some things that baby boomers should be thinking about when estate planning:
- Long-term health care. Baby boomers are aging, and as they do, they may face medical concerns and other health issues. While no one likes to think about the necessity of a nursing home or an in-home health aid, it’s a reality that people should be prepared for. Long-term care insurance can help a family be able to afford the cost of essential care in old age. Your estate planning lawyer can also guide you through other insurance options that may be important as you age
- Charity donations. As part of a person’s estate plan, they may want to contribute some of their wealth to a charitable organization. These types of donations should be planned well in advance to avoid the logistical and legal challenges that can fall on surviving family members.
- Providing for your legacy. One of the most important parts of creating an estate plan—and indeed the reason that may be most personal to you—is to ensure that your loved ones are provided for. Through estate planning, you can pass on assets and wealth to your children and grandchildren, as well as anyone else of significance in your life. A well-formed estate plan ensures that your beneficiaries will be taken care of even after you’re gone.
- Family assets. Not only can you use an estate plan to provide for charities and pass on wealth, but also to protect important family assets and ensure they stay in the family. You can also use your estate plan to avoid taxes and protect assets in the event of litigation. If you place items in a trust, they will avoid the probate process.
- Special needs for any family members. If any of your family members, such as your children or grandchildren, have special needs and will require additional care once you’re gone, your estate plan can be used to assign a guardian, provide financial support, provide special instructions, and otherwise ensure that they are well cared for.
- End-of-life care. Thinking about end-of-life care can feel intimidating and even morbid, but knowing that you have a plan in place can provide peace of mind and a sense of security for both yourself and your loved ones. Creating legal documents such as a will, advance directive, and power of attorney that outline who you want to make determinations about your medical care and finances if you are unable to, whether you want life-saving medical measures to be taken, your feelings on palliative care, and more put you in control of your future.
Get the Legal Help You Need When Creating Your Estate Plan
As a baby boomer, now is the time to be thinking about your legacy and the future of not only yourself but also those you love the most. At the law office of Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our estate planning attorneys help clients like you put together a plan that makes sense based on your financial situation, your plans for the remaining years of your life, and your family. To learn more about our legal services and how to start planning for your estate, reach out to us today at (803) 396-3800 or send us a confidential message online.