Estate Planning Tips for Hoosier Baby Boomers

Baby boomers in Indiana can help protect their assets with an estate plan. These tips can help them avoid making common mistakes.

Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, have worked hard to build their assets. This dedication to working hard and a desire to provide for loved ones is ingrained in many boomers. As a result, those who find themselves part of what the United States Census Bureau estimated to be 841,108 members of this generation in Indiana should take pride in all that they have accomplished.

Hopefully, most boomers have also taken steps to protect these assets with an estate plan. Estate plans are more than just a list of who should get what assets. These legal documents serve as an extra layer of financial protection. As such, boomers in particular should take certain steps to help better ensure that everything they have worked for is adequately protected as they near or begin to enjoy retirement.

Some basic tips include:

  • Prepare for two trajectories: living well and needing assistance. A recent article in Fox Business notes that 70 percent of the population over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care and 40 percent will need assistance from a nursing home facility. A variety of options are available to help protect assets when this type of care is needed. Some potential examples include long-term care insurance as well as taking advantage of benefits offered by programs like Medicaid.
  • Put advance directives in place. Advanced care directives (living wills) and a power of attorney document are two legal steps that help to ensure you are protected in the event you become too ill to make certain decisions. A living will helps to ensure that your medical wishes are honored and a power of attorney designates an individual to have the ability to oversee your finances.
  • Take time to update beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations on bank accounts and insurance policies should be reviewed on a regular basis, or at least after major life occurrences. This can include the death or birth of loved ones as well as marriages and divorces.

These are just a few of the issues that should be addressed to help make sure an estate plan provides an adequate level of protection to your assets.

Legal counsel can help

Baby boomers are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced estate planning lawyer to further review or properly prepare a solid estate plan. This legal professional can not only help you draft these documents in a manner that reflects your wishes, but can also help to reduce the risk of probate litigation and disputes in the future.