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Estate planning in your 50s: Things to think about

As you age, it goes without saying that your financial goals will change. For example, once you reach your 50s, you'll probably begin to think about retirement.

While retirement can be one of the best times of your life, remember this: You'll likely want to have a solid state plan in place. You want to make sure you have a plan that protects both you and your family (now and in the future).

It can be easy to believe that the estate plan you created in the past is good enough to get you through the rest of your life, but this may not be the case. You need to realize that your estate planning needs could change later in life, which may result in some adjustments to what you currently have in place.

Here are a few things you may want to think about:

  • The age of your children. Now that your children are older, possibly over the age of 18, you'll want to consider how you might want to adjust your estate plan to reflect this.
  • Your trustee or executor of your will. Is this person still living and in good health? Do you need to consider naming someone else to take on this task? Now's the time to answer these questions.
  • The many ways to use estate planning to try to yield tax benefits, such as by giving donations to charity.

Some people in their 50s don't yet have an estate plan in place. Instead, they've put this off their entire life. If this sounds familiar, you don't want to wait any longer. You're generally better off creating an estate plan now than waiting until after you retire, as you never know what could happen in the interim.

Estate planning in your 50s can be full of twists and turns. Getting started is often as simple as reviewing your current estate plan and goals. Once you do this it may be much easier to understand the steps you should take.

As you focus on what's best for you and your family, you may come to realize that there are many ways to make the most of your estate plan.

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