Those who have decided that the time has come to start to take estate planning seriously would do well to ask themselves if they have any particular objectives in mind. This is a very broad subject because financial situations can vary a great deal. But the majority of people will need to identify their legacy goals as early as possible if they are going to be able to budget appropriately throughout their lives in an effort to meet these goals. There are two different philosophies that people embrace with regard to this, and your choice will have a significant impact on how to proceed as your retirement years begin to come into focus.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate one of the mindsets that some people have would be the bumper sticker that you may have seen on the roadways over the years that says something to the effect of “We are busy spending our children’s inheritances.” Some people are literally doing just that and they will feel as though they failed to meet their goals if they have anything left to leave to their children after they pass away. Others may expect to have something left over, but they go forward acting without any type of legacy plan in place. They have not thought about what they would like to do for their loved ones after they pass away and are content to simply let the chips fall as they may.
Whether or not you agree with this approach is a matter personal opinion, but there are those who do in fact have specific estate planning objectives. Some want to make sure that succeeding generations can all attend college; others want to provide trust funds that family members can draw on in times of need throughout their lives; and there are also those who have the sincere desire to give back through acts of charitable giving.
If you do in fact have specific legacy goals your estate planning attorney can help you make them a reality. If you don’t, your retirement planning lawyer will help you optimize your resources so that you can make the most out of your retirement and comfortably meet the expenses that you will incur during the latter stages of your life.
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