Review your estate plan at the beginning of retirement

Many people initiate estate planning during the middle part of their Texas careers as they start to accumulate significant wealth. As the years pass, you may forget what you have designated for some portions of your plan. When you enter retirement, consider reviewing your documents to ensure they still meet your needs.

Preparing for the years ahead

Estate planning involves more than passing on financial assets to your heirs. The early stages of retirement represent a good time to tweak some components. Ensure that your will is up-to-date. Review beneficiaries on (transfer-on-death) TOD financial accounts, retirement accounts and similar assets to see if those designations meet your current wishes. Another task you can perform is making a list of all your financial information and giving it to your loved ones so they will have this information handy if you become incapacitated. Regarding incapacitation, ensure that you have powers of attorney for finances and healthcare in place in case you are incapacitated.

Reviewing your trusts at this time is also a good idea. You may need income to live on in retirement but also want to ensure you have sufficient funds to leave to your beneficiaries. Another attractive option is to move assets into a Roth IRA, which will not count toward your modified gross income if you withdraw funds and still allow your investments to grow.

Estate planning is fluid

A frequent misconception about estate planning is that they are set in stone once you establish your documents. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you have an irrevocable trust, you can change estate documents anytime. Life circumstances change over the years, so it’s essential to review your documents periodically. You may have drafted documents such as guardianships for minor children that are no longer applicable as they have reached adulthood.

If you have a business, you may also want to ensure that your succession planning wishes remain valid. Early retirement is also an excellent time to fill in the blanks for estate planning needs you may have missed the first time.