It is a good idea to regularly update your estate plan throughout your life, particularly at major milestones. Retirement is one of the most significant milestones you can reach and also marks a time when your personal needs will change the most.
As retirement draws near, you need to make sure that your will accurately reflects your intentions and your end-of-life plans. To that end, there are a couple of items that are particularly important to have in your will regardless of whether you are starting your estate plan from the beginning or updating an existing document.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is a document you can add to your will to grant a trusted individual decision-making authority over your personal affairs. For example, you might grant this person authority pertaining to your estate, your finances or your business. When you draft a power of attorney, you have the choice of putting it into effect immediately or instead transferring authority if you become incapacitated.
An advance medical directive outlines the type of treatment you wish to receive in the event that you are not in a position to voice your wishes yourself. Without a medical directive in place, your loved ones might make a decision regarding your medical condition that you do not agree with.
A power of attorney and an advance medical directive both serve to ensure that those around you will honor your intentions if you become unable to speak for yourself. This is especially important when you reach retirement age, as there is a higher likelihood that a condition or illness might incapacitate you.