We note the current century in the above-cited blog headline for this reason: In the aggregate, Americans are certainly living longer presently, with that reality bringing immediate — and material — implications for estate planning.
Here’s a key one, as referenced in a media article citing an AARP-authored study: “[T]wo out of three Americans are more worried about running out of money than dying.”
And for good reason. The life expectancy for both males and females is progressively stretching outward, with many millions of people now confidently expecting that their age upon passing will exceed that of their parents by many years — indeed, even decades.
There is a double-edged sword aspect to that, of course. On the one hand, the extra years can certainly contribute to a more deeply meaningful life, across many fronts. On the other hand, though, they can bring material financial stress and even penury for individuals and families that did not adequately prepare for the additional span of time.
Estate planning professionals frequently make that point, and we are no exception at the Orange County Newman Law Group. In counseling clients, though, the emphasis is not on alarmist rhetoric or scare tactics, but, rather, the underscoring of planning opportunities that can be pursued to help ensure financial stability and confidence for families with aging loved ones.
In short: A timely, well-considered and carefully tailored estate planning strategy — which includes a will, one or more trust vehicles in select circumstances, health care and financial powers of attorney and other documents — can go far toward reducing any angst or undue concern regarding advancing years.
For many people, their senior years truly are their “golden years.” Sound estate planning can centrally contribute to later-life confidence and certainty regarding financial affairs.