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Consider estate planning as part of your retirement plan

A recent study found that about 19 percent of baby boomers feel that they owe their children an inheritance. Of individuals age 72 and older 14 percent feel they must leave an inheritance to their children. While it may be that baby boomers are more interested in imparting family legacy and values, the simple fact is that many still have substantial assets to distribute as well.

Millions of Americans are reaching retirement age and are planning their estates. A recent article addresses the special needs of estate planning for seniors. As New Jersey seniors start thinking more about their retirement and estate planning issues, there are some things to keep in mind. While you may have created wills years ago, it may be time to review them and make any changes.

Our society today is forever changing; divorce rates are increasing thus changing the dynamics of many families. As new family members are born or go their separate ways, it is important to review any documentation, such as a will, to make sure that any assets are going to the intended individuals. This also includes updating beneficiaries for any life insurance policies.

Additionally, a revised plan may help to better manage current and future finances. According to an expert, those with major assets may want to think about making a trust to help preserve the assets. Other options include living wills, proxies, and power of attorney.

Some trusts may be used just as retirement accounts. These accounts can be paid out per the owner's desires rather than going directly to the beneficiary. In many cases the best thing to do is to learn more about the choices available when estate planning.

New Jersey seniors and others may want to find out the options open to them to create retirement accounts and trusts.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Remember to keep estate planning in your retirement-planning duties," Janet Kidd Stewart, June 8, 2012

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