Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part 4: Living Will

There are many options out there for retirement planning. In the previous parts of this 7 part blog series, we discussed last wills and revocable living trusts. In this part, we will discuss living wills and what you need to know when you create one.

What is a living will?
When creating a living will, you should know a few important things. A living will is commonly known as an “advance health care directive.”1 It is a legally binding document that states your preferences for medical treatment if you are unable to express these wishes. A living will gives healthcare professionals direction when they are giving you treatment. For example, if you write in your living will that you do not want to be intubated, then it is against the law for a doctor to do so. Also, a living will is only effective in the state that you live in. For example, if you live in Pennsylvania and draft a living will, then a hospital in New Jersey does not legally have to follow the will.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part 3: Revocable Living Trusts

Navigating the legal considerations of retirement can be very complex. In part 2 of this 7 part blog series, we discussed last wills. Now, in part 3 of this series, we’ll discuss how you can be sure your assets go to your loved ones with a revocable living trust1 and what happens if you die without a living trust or last will.

What is a revocable living trust?

A revocable living trust is a way for you to leave money for your loved ones. It allows you to have some control over your money, even after you have passed away2. A revocable living trust is a substitute for a will, as it also provides for the distribution of your wealth after you pass away. However, unlike a will, you can distribute your assets while you are still alive.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part 2: The Last Will

As more Americans enter retirement, many are navigating the tricky financial and legal paths ahead. When it comes to planning your retirement, a last will is exceedingly important. In this, part 2 of a 7 part blog series, we will discuss why you need a last will.1

Why do I need a last will?
As discussed in the previous blog post (link to part 1), a last will is the document you use to allocate your resources to your beneficiaries after you have passed on. A last will helps you decide who will receive which assets and how much they will receive. If you do not have a last will, then the state will distribute your assets2 to your relatives after your death.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part One: The Overview

The average age of Americans is rising1, which means there are now more Americans retiring than ever before. Most people hire a financial planner when planning their retirement, but many do not realize that it is also prudent to hire an attorney. The process of protecting one’s assets is often very complicated and an attorney can help navigate this process. There are many questions a retiree should ask themselves to protect their assets. In this, part 1 of a 5 part blog series, we will discuss why you need an attorney if you have a financial planner, and the difference between a last will, a living will, and a revocable living trust.