Some individuals enter retirement without a spouse, children or other close family members. While estate planning is something some people might normally associate with the protection of family, having an estate plan and keeping it updated can be just as important for retirees without close relatives as it is for those with such relatives.
There are many important things a well-tailored estate plan can do for a person without close family members who is entering retirement.
For one, such a plan can provide them with ways to ensure that the assets they worked hard for during their working years go towards what’s important to them. For example, wills, trusts and beneficiary designations can be used to direct a person’s assets towards charities for causes they care greatly for when they pass away.
Also, an estate plan can play an important role if a person without close relatives gets very sick during their retirement years. Some medical conditions make it so a person will need someone else to make financial and medical decisions for them. Estate planning documents like medical powers of attorney and durable powers of attorney allow a person to specify who will make such decisions for them.
There are many impactful choices that can come up for a retiree without close family members when it comes to building an estate plan. Among these is who they name in their estate plan for important roles. Such roles include executor of their estate, trustee of a trust and the designated decision-maker in a power of attorney document. Many people choose close relatives for these roles. So, picking people to fill these roles can have an added degree of difficulty for individuals without close family members. Picking trustworthy individuals for these roles is critical. So, it can be crucial for retirees without relatives to give careful thought to who to choose.
Another choice that can be a big one for a person is who entering retirement without close relatives is who they choose to have help them with their estate plan. How the various details and processes related to estate planning are handled can have a big impact on whether the estate plan a person has is well-suited for their circumstances. So, the quality of legal guidance they have when working on estate planning matters can have considerable implications for a person, whether they have close relatives or not.