Your estate plan needs to address a wide range of issues related to your personal assets, long-term care, and the wellbeing of the loved ones you leave behind.
Banking is a critical part of the estate planning process. How you manage your finances affects the value of your estate and prevent many of the common risks that older adults face.
Consulting with an estate planning professional is the best way to support your estate planning goals and make sure that your assets benefit you and your family.
Banking Matters as You Grow Older
Managing your finances ensures that you get the most out of the assets you’ve built over your lifetime. It helps older adults and their family members get the protection they need to avoid common financial pitfalls.
The need and cost of medical care increases as a person ages. Planning for future medical care and other needs prevents financial challenges that may reduce the value of your estate.
It can also be difficult for older adults to manage their finances on their own due to physical or mental decline. So adult children and other family members need to have their banking in order.
Older adults are also at risk for fraud and elder abuse. Without a sound banking and estate planning strategy, they can fall victim to financial risks that result in lasting impacts on their wellbeing.
Creating a Financial Plan for the Future
Maximizing the value of your assets for the benefit of loved ones is the goal of any estate plan. This gives beneficiaries the greatest value when assets are transferred to them after you pass.
An estate plan dictates how assets will be managed and distributed so that you make the process easier for family members and reduce legal or other costs. It prevents the confusion that often leads to family conflicts and emotional upset.
The right banking and estate planning strategies protect your assets from any legal actions. Creditors and other parties may attempt to claim a portion of your estate. Estate planning tools can be used to prevent them from taking any portion of your estate.
Creating a will lets you outline your preference in how assets will be treated when you’re no longer around to make those decisions. You name beneficiaries who will receive your assets.
A trust can be used to manage your protected assets during and after your lifetime. You can move assets into a living trust, and you have the option of creating a revocable or irrevocable trust depending on your needs.
A revocable trust gives you the flexibility to modify or cancel the trust at any time. Irrevocable trusts can’t be changed but may provide greater protection of your assets.
Banking for Older Adults
Your banking needs and practices can be used to support your estate planning goals. Having financial documents organized helps you and your estate planning attorney create the right strategy for you and your family’s protection.
A power of attorney (POA) document allows you to name another individual who has the legal authority to make important decisions related to your banking and personal finances.
This is especially important in cases where an individual is no longer able to make these decisions due to cognitive decline, illness, or injury.
Financial institutions will typically require a POA to be presented if a loved one wants to take any actions related to your accounts. These include bank and credit accounts, investments, mortgages, business ownership, and other areas of your financial life.
How you manage your finances during and after your life has a big impact on the future wellbeing of your loved ones. Estate planning is essential to creating a secure financial future.
Understanding how banking supports your estate plan helps you create a more comprehensive plan that gives you the protection and peace of mind you need.