Estate planning later in life comes with unique questions and choices. Although creating or updating your estate planning may seem like a daunting task, a proper estate plan can help address the concerns you may face as a senior citizen. We are here to help you.

The biggest question is: how do you protect your loved ones after you are gone?

Although you will no longer be with your family, you can still have a direct impact on your loved one’s financial future. A Trust is a great tool to hold the money and property you want to give to your loved ones. It allows you to set aside a portion of your accounts and property for the benefit of a loved one.

You can name someone to oversee the money and property and instruct that person on when and how the assets may be used. One of the benefits of estate planning later in life is that you will have a fairly clear picture of what assets you anticipate and a more current list of beneficiaries. When establishing a Trust, there are a few different options for how your loved one can receive the money and property.

Outright distribution:

The terms of the Trust can instruct the Trustee to give your loved one the right to withdraw all of the money and property in their share of the Trust at any time, without any strings attached.

At a specific age (or ages):

You can dictate in the terms of your Trust that a certain percentage be distributed to your loved one at a specific age or at different ages.

After reaching certain milestones:

You can instruct the Trustee to distribute a certain percentage or amount once a milestone has been reached, such as attaining a college degree.

For certain purposes:

You can include restrictions on what the money can be used for, such as tuition, starting a new business, or the purchase of a first home, eliminating the idea that the money is available for luxury or frivolous items.

Leave it up to the Trustee:

If you are concerned about what your loved one may do with the money, if your loved one has a high-risk job, creditor issues, an unhealthy marriage, or an addiction, allowing distributions to be made only at the Trustee’s discretion is a good way to try to protect the money and property that you have set aside for your loved one.

Creating a comprehensive financial and estate plan with the help of experienced advisors, in addition to having an honest and open conversation with your loved ones about it, are two of the first steps to overcoming the fears that arise about money and inheritance.

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