Guest post by Mike Lies of Gold Compass Real Estate
Planning for the future is a necessary step for seniors. It avoids family fights, legal fees and government possession. Estate planning can be a difficult process as there are some uncomfortable decisions that have to be made such as how assets will be distributed and to whom as well as funeral arrangements and medical wishes. The typical estate planning documents include a will and testament to specify gifts for family members, power of attorney, trusts, and health care directive.
Here are some tips for seniors when it comes to estate planning:
Seek Expert Advice
An attorney should be one of your first calls as they can help you talk about your options when it comes to estate planning. They will help draw up the necessary paperwork so that everything is ready when it comes time to pass your belongings, including your home, to those you love.
In addition to legal advice, you should also seek tax advice to ensure that you make the most well-informed decisions. A financial planner can also help you decide the best route for your money now and in the future.
Communicate With Loved Ones
What you do with your possessions is ultimately up to you, but if you are able, you should also talk to your family members. You don’t necessarily have to ask their advice, but instead, state the facts so they know what to expect in the future. This can be an emotional process for everyone involved, so remember to stay calm and firm in your decisions.
Store Documents Safely
Many estate planning documents such as a living trust, will and medical information require actual signatures, so it is important to keep those physical documents in a safe and secure location. It is wise to keep them in a secondary location such as an attorney’s office or bank safe deposit box as long as a loved one has access to it. You can also store them in your home in a fire- and flood-proof safe. It is a real hassle if the documents are destroyed or if you can’t remember where you put them.
Declutter Your Home
After years of living in a home, you tend to accumulate a lot of personal belongings. You can make it easier on loved ones if you are able to start the declutter process now. It is easiest to systematically go through each room, closet and storage area. You can use stickers or place items in different piles, based on whether you plan to donate, gift, trash or keep them.
Assess Your Living Situation
If living on your own begins to be a challenge, it might be time to sell your home and either move in with a family member or to an assisted living facility. A Realtor will be able to provide you with the market value of your home and help set up a timeline of the necessary steps to get your home on the market.
Review and Revise
If your situation changes, you can change your documents to reflect your current realities. Contact your attorney, tax adviser, or financial planner to make changes to your documents especially in the aftermath of divorces, weddings, deaths or births.
The goal of estate planning is to pass on what you have with ease and grace while you avoid conflict. When you have your estate and financial affairs in order, it can give you peace of mind and allow you to continue to show love even after you’re gone.
If you would like to start the estate planning process or have questions, contact Anderson Law PC at 720-922-3880. If you want to learn more about your options for downsizing or selling your home, contact local Littleton Realtor Mike Lies with Gold Compass Real Estate at 303-325-5690.
About Gold Compass Real Estate
Gold Compass Real Estate is a brokerage firm, formed to help home buyers, sellers, investors and agents understand the value of the real estate market and reach their goals. We believe communication is the foundation to building trust, so we make it a priority to be available to our clients through phone, text, Facebook, email and in-person meetings. Our team understands that buying or selling a home is a major life event. We’re passionate to make the experience smooth and seamless by providing outstanding personal service. We’ll give you the resources and time you need to find the perfect home, even if it takes two years. Visit ColoradoHomeBlog.com or call 303-325-5690 to learn more.