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Estate Planning for Longer Life Expectancy

Estate Planning for Longer Life Expectancy

No one truly knows how long they’ll live or how active they will be in their elder years. The CDC publishes life expectancy rates every few years and the current life expectancy is 77.5 years— which is up a bit from the previous years. But we all know people, or know of people, who outlive this expectancy by decades. This is both wonderful and potentially scary.

I’m sure you’re wondering “how do I plan well for my end of life when I don’t know when that will be?” Today we dig into things to consider for estate planning for longer life expectancy.

Start Planning While You Are Younger

The best way to live a long and full life is to prepare for it. Just like we seek professionals to help us care for and support our bodies so that we can live the longest, fullest lives, we should seek professional help to teach us how to take care of our assets and estate so that we can enjoy them well into the future. Maybe your family has strong genetics and family members that live very long lives. This is wonderful! Find a great estate planning team to help you safeguard not only your future, but the legacy you will leave for your loved ones into the future generations.

Additionally, having the guidance of a skilled team of financial advisors can help you determine if your current wealth management strategy will carry you far into the future or if other investments should be made now.

The Use of Trusts

Trusts will always be one of our favorite estate planning tools. Trusts can help protect and shelter your assets for generations to come— not just while you’re living or immediately after your death.

There are many different types of Trusts. The two major categories are revocable and irrevocable. Both have pros and cons. Revocable Trusts can be changed or completely revoked at any time during your lifetime. Irrevocable Trusts are set in stone the day they are established.

You may wonder why someone would choose an irrevocable Trust. Estate planning for longer life expectancy— especially long-term care in residential facilities— is one of those reasons. An irrevocable Trust can allow you to shelter real estate and other assets under the Trust to prevent Medicare or other creditors from seizing it if your long-term care exceeds the costs allowed by Medicare.

Review Your Estate Plan Annually

It is important to review your estate plan regularly. We recommend that you review it for any changes or updates yearly. Keep in mind you can’t make changes to an irrevocable Trust, but all of your estate planning tools should be reviewed yearly.

We recommend this for everyone, but especially those that are in their elder years. This is because as we age, sadly, we begin to see those we love pass away more often. It’s important to make sure the people you have named as beneficiaries or to carry out jobs under your estate plan are still living or available to do so. If not, or if your relationship with that person has changed, it’s good to update your plan to reflect what you want to happen now that this person is not available.

Have An Advance Directive For Health Care In Place

We recommend that everyone have an Advance Directive for Health Care in place (in some states this is referred to as a Health Care Proxy or Living Will), but it’s especially important for those of an advanced age. This document outlines who is able to speak to your medical professionals to receive information about your care, and it also allows you the opportunity to preselect your choices for end-of-life care— in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself.

This document is a powerful tool giving you agency to act on your behalf— even if you are in a coma. It also alleviates the pressure your loved ones may feel about making hard decisions on your behalf.

Many people have moral or religious reasons for opting out of certain treatments. Their loved ones may not be aware of these convictions, or they may disagree with them. The Advance Directive for Health Care allows you to make these decisions for yourself— even if your loved one doesn’t understand them.

Watch this video to learn more.

As you can see, all these things are items we want everyone to consider—not just those planning for longer life expectancy. This is because we all hope that we will live the longest, fullest, most vibrant life. Let’s plan for that! Call us at (404) 736-6066 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.

Estate Planning E-Book for Georgia Residents

Click below to download your free copy of Sarah Siedentopf's e-book, Peace of Mind Through Estate Planning: A Guide for Georgia Residents.

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