Making The Complex

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Don’t retire without these estate planning documents

Taking time to relax and enjoy life after decades of hard work is something most people in Louisiana look forward to. However, there is more to preparing for retirement than just building up one’s savings. Estate planning is also an essential part of planning for this part of life. In addition to a will, here are a few other documents one may want to consider.

Even if someone has always successfully managed his or her affairs, it is impossible to predict what the future may hold. That same individual may hit a point during retirement where he or she is incapacitated or simply incapable of making those same financial decisions. When someone creates a power of attorney, he or she gives another person the ability to make those decisions and sign legal documents when necessary. Some of the different types of powers of attorney to consider include:

  • Limited
  • Springing
  • Durable

Powers of attorney are not all about money, either. A health care power of attorney also gives someone the ability to make decisions on another’s behalf, but only about medical care. These documents are often accompanied by advance directives, also called living wills. An advance directive should include wishes regarding treatment, such as whether someone is comfortable with certain lifesaving interventions.

It is also helpful to double check any Transfer-on-Death or Payable-on-Death designations. Many investment accounts allow holders to assign named beneficiaries through these TOD or POD designations. This means that when an account holder passes away, his or her accounts pass directly to named beneficiaries without having to go through probate. Should one fail to include these forms, the accounts will have to go through the lengthy — and sometimes expensive — succession process.

When people head into retirement they are often thinking about how to fully enjoy their later years, not what will happen after. While this is understandable, skipping over this important process can have unintended consequences for the future. As such, learning more about estate planning in Louisiana may be helpful.


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