Transitioning to retirement can be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for many Coloradans, but it can also be a stressful time. There are many legal considerations you must make to prepare for this new chapter in your life as well as for those you love.
However, a recent study by Caring.com shows only four in 10 adults in the U.S. have a will, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says nearly 40% of baby boomers have not done any estate planning.
The four primary legal documents retirees need
One of the most crucial decisions retirees can make is an estate plan with these necessary legal documents to carry out your health, financial and personal wishes:
- Will: This can be a simple or complicated document outlining the preferences for assets to be distributed after your death and can contain your wishes for the care of any minor children.
- Power of attorney: This written authorization gives a family member or a trusted friend the authority to act on your behalf in business, medical and legal matters. A durable power of attorney allows your agent to make decisions if you become incapacitated.
- Health care directive: Living wills are one type of advanced health care directives which outline your wishes for care, including end-of-life decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself. The Colorado Health Institute says nearly one-third of all Coloradans, 65 or older, have no health care directive in place.
- Information document: This is an important, but often overlooked document, containing bank account information, insurance policies, passwords and other important information that are vital to carrying out your wishes. This is important for you and your family should an emergency happen.
Seek legal help to put an estate plan in place
You have worked hard to build wealth and care for your family, and now you are ready to reap the rewards by transitioning to retirement. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney here in Colorado can help you make sure that your personal, medical and financial wishes are carried out, giving you and your family peace of mind.