Estate Planning and Retirement for Late-in-Life Parents

estate planning and retirement considerations

It’s becoming more and more common for parents to decide to start having children much later in life. This could be for many reasons, such as wanting to be more financially stable before starting a family. Whether a young parent or a late-in-life parent, it’s essential to start thinking about estate planning and retirement. However, late-in-life parents have more elements to consider when planning their futures.

While conversations about aging and death can be uncomfortable, older parents must have these discussions. In addition to life insurance policies, estate planning and a retirement plan protect your future and the future of your minor children by leaving specific instructions for who your beneficiaries are and what they should receive.

This article discusses four estate planning and retirement considerations for late-in-life parents, along with tips for successful future planning.

Estate planning and elder law don’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law is here to simplify this process. Call us today to schedule a planning session if you need help with estate planning or issues concerning elder law.

Four Considerations for Estate Planning and Retirement for Late-in-Life Parents

Estate and retirement planning looks different for every family, but it’s uniquely different for late-in-life parents.

Here are some things to consider to secure your family’s future.

Have an Updated Estate Plan

First, it’s essential to have an updated estate plan.

Estate planning can encompass many legal documents, but the basics include the following:

  • A will
  • Advance Health Care Directive
  • Power of attorney for Financial Matters
  • A list of designated beneficiaries

It’s important to remember that estate plans are living documents, which means you can update them as needed. Your needs may change as you age, so you should update your estate plan to reflect your family’s current circumstances.

Name a Guardian

If you haven’t already, then you should name a guardian for your child in your estate plan. No one likes to think about death, but passing away is inevitable. Since you’re a late-in-life parent, you might pass away before your child turns 18. In case of your death, the person you name as guardian will have legal authority over your child so that they can make financial and health care decisions.

Create a Trust

Some people think a will is enough to secure their children’s financial futures. However, where there is a will, there is a probate.  While a will is an important document, you might also want to consider creating a trust. A trust is a beneficial option for late-in-life parents because, once you die, your estate will not have to go through probate, and funds won’t go directly to your child.

Instead, a trustee, who you appoint, holds power over the assets, and they will transfer the trust funds to your child, the beneficiary, as stated in your trust. So if you pass away while your child is still young, you can ensure that they use your money wisely through a trust.

A trust also ensures your financial assets and other property aren’t in your name, which means your surviving spouse and family members won’t have to endure the lengthy and stressful probate process. Further, a properly planned trust will allow for tax-deferred assets while you are living.

Save for Retirement

It’s never too late to save for retirement. Retirement accounts ensure you can live comfortably once you reach retirement age. While your child’s future is your main priority, you need to secure your future as well. An added benefit of a retirement account is that if your child is in college while you’re retired, they may qualify for more financial aid.

Tip for Estate and Retirement Plans for Late-in-Life Parents

Now that you’ve read about estate and retirement planning considerations, take a look at these tips to help the planning process go smoothly:

  • Start planning before it’s too late. Many people put estate planning off until it’s too late. You can start estate planning at any age, so start planning now with your attorney.
  • Prioritize your retirement assets. After having a child, their security is your main concern, but consider prioritizing your personal finance goals before their college funds. They can borrow money to pay for college, but you can’t borrow money to retire. It’s also important to consider your beneficiary designations for your retirement accounts, like Roth IRAs.
  • Work with an estate planning attorney: While you can do some estate planning on your own, it’s beneficial to work with an attorney. They can help you create an estate plan that works for your family’s specific needs.

Talk With an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney Today

If you’re a late-in-life parent, starting an estate plan and saving for retirement as soon as possible is crucial. It may be challenging to think about death, but protecting your child’s future is more important. Since you’re starting a family later in life, you want to ensure your family is financially secure in case you pass away before your child can take care of themselves.

At Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, we understand that estate planning is complicated and, at times, stressful. So, we’re here to guide you through this process. You can rely on us to help create an estate plan that best benefits you and your child.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

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