Over the past decade, not only have you grown older, but your retirement planning needs and your family’s financial needs have drastically changed.  Similarly, over the past decade, the laws of Estate Planning have drastically changed.  No longer is the Federal Estate tax a concern merely for those with extreme wealth.  No longer are same sex couples excluded from certain Estate Planning benefits.  No longer can you expect to receive your share of Social Security benefits.  And, most importantly, no longer can you put off adhering to three basic necessities of Estate Planning.

1) Put together a great team.

A proper team is the very foundation of proper Estate Planning.  Estate Planning involves giving due consideration to investments, tax considerations, and utilizing the right legal documentation to ensure your assets provide for you during your retirement years  and provide for your loved ones beyond your life.

2) Update your Beneficiaries.

Updating your beneficiaries is one of the most forgotten and neglected items.  Yet, it is also one of the simplest to do.  Many people who have not assembled the proper team still list the same primary beneficiary on their insurance policy or retirement plan as they did when they got their job at upon graduation.  Listing the proper beneficiaries enables you to avoid costly estate and inheritance taxes.

 3) Prepare a Will, Living Will and Power of Attorney

If you’re reading this, you have likely realized a Will is necessary to proper Estate Planning.  However, you may not know Wills are not all the same.  The proper will may create a trust, establish a guardian for your minor child and even dictate how your child is cared for.  Additionally, while we are all asked by our doctor if we have a Living Will, how many actually say, “yes”?  We have strong feelings about our body and what type of life sustaining treatment we would want.  Whether those convictions are founded in religion, past experiences, or other beliefs, would your doctor know you wanted treatment refused, or would a funeral director know to embalm your body as opposed to cremation?  These considerations and more are encompassed in Living Wills and Powers of Attorney.

Eric Davis, Esq.

Elliott & Davis, PC

412.434.4911 x 11

eric@elliott-davis.com

425 First Avenue, First Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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