Estate Planning

Retirement is often a good time to ask your attorney to review your will and other estate planning documents, particularly if it has been a while since anyone has looked at them. Retirement entails financial change, and changes in your estate planning may be necessary to protect your assets for yourself and your heirs.

Major life events. Keep in mind that "major life events" are, by virtue of your stage in life as a retiree, more likely to arise. "Major life events" is a euphemism for largely lamentable, but often or always unavoidable occurrences that usually require that you revisit your financial planning. These events include such trials as chronic illness, terminal illness, or the death of a spouse or other family member. Not all major life events are so depressing, though. For example, the arrival of grandchildren (imagine that) may require a revision of your will.

Revisit your appointees. Retirees should also exercise more diligence in appointing those who will take over for them (executors and other fiduciaries) in the event of disability, terminal illness, or death. Your letter of instructions also becomes more important. I'm trying to be circumspect here, but the truth of the matter is that once you enter the retirement years, the likelihood that these various estate-planning documents might come into effect is much higher. If you doubt that, peruse the obituary page.