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After estate planning, the next step is sharing the plan

At some point, a couple in California may begin to consider what will happen when they reach retirement age. Many couples who reach this point have questions, and they often turn to an attorney for answers. This may be the first step in estate planning, but it is not the last.

The best situation is when a couple maps out their future together. They may cover the most basic questions about when and where they will retire, and they may make plans about what to do with their time after they quit working. But couples who prefer leaving nothing to chance will also have a conversation about when they will begin to draw Social Security or dip into their retirement accounts. Waiting until after retirement to come to an agreement on these things may lead to financial complications.

Because a couple's adult children may be intrinsic parts of the estate plan, it is wise to let them know what to expect. Some couples choose one of their grown children to act as durable power of attorney, granting them authority to make financial decisions on the couple's behalf if either spouse becomes incapacitated. An estate plan may also provide for an executor who would be responsible for carrying out the couple's wishes. An adult child chosen for this role should know ahead of time.

An attorney can be helpful in answering the questions that come with estate planning in California. He or she can help a couple name an executor and decide if a trust is something the couple may wish to set up to help their heirs avoid probate. When couples have their plans in place, they may be able to enjoy their retirement without worry.

Source: middlesborodailynews.com, "Don't keep family in the dark about your plans", Steve Obermann, June 9, 2016

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