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Creating an Estate Plan for Retirement

Ryan E. Gatti Attorney at Law

Estate planning in Louisiana is how you prepare for retirement and not just death. Though wills, trusts and executors manage your assets after you die, they also help you in retirement. Here are some important things to know about estate planning and retirement.

A living will

A living will shouldn’t be confused with a common will. A typical will is activated at the event of your death and thus has little bearing in retirement. Estate planning with a living will, however, allows you to activate directives while you’re alive. As long as you have titles to prove ownership of your assets, a living will states your wishes without exposing your assets to public interest.

An irrevocable trust

A trust is a financial tool that estates use to privatize their assets. Including a trust in your estate planning begins with deciding on a revocable or an irrevocable trust. A trust prepares you for retirement by keeping your assets private until they’re withdrawn.

A trust is a formal agreement that you have with a chosen trustee. This person manages the assets of your account until the person you list is ready to receive those assets. An irrevocable trust:

  • Is considered a private asset
  • Can hold a variety of asset classes
  • Is managed by a trustee who is assigned by you
  • Can have its conditions and contents irrefutable

A power of attorney

A power of attorney is a contract that gives someone the right to act on your behalf. If managing your businesses, for example, has become too much, then someone with a POA can buy, sell and manage business assets without you. Powers of attorney are used for medical directives also. The agent you assign is often required to handle your money, so keep in mind whether they’re still suitable as you age during retirement.

Keep in mind that your retirement strategy must rely on common retirement accounts; if you have savings, those funds are only recognized as legally for retirement when they go into a retirement account. Unless your money sits within a retirement account, it’s at risk for taxes and creditors. The above measures can be useful for making sure your estate helps you during retirement.

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