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Get the Whole Family Involved with Estate Planning!

Hopefully you and your spouse have already begun the communications concerning your respective ideas for retirement. And ideally you agree on the major issues like where you’ll live, when you both plan to retire, and what you want to do in retirement, says the Rocky Mount Telegram’s article, “Retirement and estate planning is a family affair.”

However, you both might have let some things slip through the cracks. These are the important specifics related to financing your retirement. So you’ll need to answer questions like these:

  1. When will you each start drawing Social Security?

  2. What’s your plan for maximizing your Social Security payments?

  3. When will you need to start withdrawing from your respective retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s and when you do, how much should you take out each year?

It would be wise to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to look into these issues and to make sure that you and your spouse are “singing from the same hymnal”—or in other words, on the same page when it comes to these key financial elements of your retirement.

Next, think about your grown children. You should communicate your estate plans to them clearly, not just for the sake of openness and honesty, but also because they may have responsibilities and active roles. When talking to them, make sure you cover things like a durable power of attorney, the executor of your estate, and the status of your will and living trust. These documents will contain a lot of information your children should know, so spend some time explaining your rationale for your decisions in these documents.

Reference: Rocky Mount Telegram (June 24, 2016) “Retirement and estate planning is a family affair”

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