Using trusts as part of a retirement plan

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2019 | Estate Planning

When Floridians plan for retirement, the focus tends to be on 401(k)s, IRA accounts and annuities. What about trusts? While many people plan for a long life after retiring from the workforce, not nearly enough put plans in place for what happens to their assets — and debts — after they pass away.

CNN notes that anyone with a net worth of at least $100,000 could make good use of a trust for retirement and estate planning. This may sound like a lot at first, but net worth does not only include cash in the bank. Someone who owns a family business or has built $100,000 of equity in their home may qualify.

According to Forbes, a living trust may also prevent estates from going through lengthy probate processes. It helps to ensure that the assets remain in the family. Otherwise, assets may end up going to ex-spouses, new wives and in-laws instead of the children or grandchildren.

This may happen if the names of spouses, ex-spouses and in-laws were included on the title of assets or as beneficiaries and never removed. Note that while a trust or will may not override assets with a beneficiary attached to it, such as a life insurance policy, proper estate planning prompt a lot of people to review these documents and update them.

Another aspect of retirement that many people shy away from is the likelihood of becoming ill or incapacitated. Even if this is temporary, they might end up losing everything to a guardian appointed by the state. People may be able to preempt this by putting proper measures in place through a durable power of attorney, health surrogate and living will. These documents help to ensure that if a person becomes incapacitated, other competent individuals may represent their best interests.