Monday, August 6, 2012

Legal Considerations for Retirement Part One: The Overview

The average age of Americans is rising1, which means there are now more Americans retiring than ever before. Most people hire a financial planner when planning their retirement, but many do not realize that it is also prudent to hire an attorney. The process of protecting one’s assets is often very complicated and an attorney can help navigate this process. There are many questions a retiree should ask themselves to protect their assets. In this, part 1 of a 5 part blog series, we will discuss why you need an attorney if you have a financial planner, and the difference between a last will, a living will, and a revocable living trust.

If I already have a financial planner, do I really need an attorney?
The short answer to this question is yes, you absolutely need an attorney to help protect your assets.  While financial planners are very helpful when you are preparing for retirement, they cannot assist with the legal process of protecting your assets, like establishing a will or trust. You need an attorney for this.  If you need an attorney, contact Kemp & Associates and we can help refer the right one for you.

What is the difference between a last will, a living will, and a revocable living trust?
While all these documents have similar-sounding names, they all serve very different purposes. A last will2 is the document you use to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries after you have died. A living trust is used to transfer your assets without going to court.  Additionally, a living trust3 can be carried out while you are still alive. Finally, a living will4 is what you use to outline your healthcare preferences if you are unable to tell those treating you.

In the nextpart of this blog post, we will discuss last wills in depth.

1 "US Life Expectancy is Up, Hits Record High of 78.2!" Singularity Hub, March 20, 2011;

3 ”Living Trust FAQ: What is a Living Trust?” NOLO;

4 “What is a Living Will?”;

All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.

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