As a trusts and estates practitioner, part of my practice is to help my clients formulate an estate plan. The plan usually includes a Will, a Heath Care Proxy, a Living Will and a Power of Attorney. Some people opt to place some or all of their assets in a Trust. Assets also can be titled jointly with right of survivorship or with pay-on-death beneficiary designations. After these documents are executed and the designations made, many people close the book on their estate planning and get on with their lives. These people are ahead of the curve, unlike those people who do not plan for the inevitable. However, estate planning is something that is fluid and should be reconsidered periodically, especially if a person’s marital status changes, if one becomes a parent or grandparent, as one’s wealth increases or decreases, and in respect to retirement plans and goals.
There is a nexus between estate planning and planning for one’s retirement. The nexus gets stronger as we grow older and closer to retirement. The lesson, though, is that it is never too soon to consider the tie-in between retirement and estate planning. Both impact on how one’s assets will be used, both during one’s life, and after one passes. Both impact not only on the person, but also on his or her family, including the next generations. In that regard, there are two recent articles that address these topics, albeit from different angles. The articles are food for thought, and I refer you to them.
The first article is from Investor’s Business Daily and is entitled, “Seven Retirement Myths Debunked.” In the article, author, Donald Jay Korn, rethinks seven common retirement planning techniques, including the tenet that one should maximize one’s 401(k) contributions.
The second article is from Kiplinger and is entitled, “Planning for Retirement Assets in Your Estate Plan.” Author Kathleen A. Stewart, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and a Senior Wealth Strategist with BNY Mellon Wealth Management, examines the categories of assets that she recommends one should utilize planning for and during retirement versus the assets a person should pass down to maximize all of one’s assets, hence, the tie-in between retirement planning and estate planning,.
Both article are worth reading and may make you rethink your short-term and long-term planning. The links to the articles are below.