The basic idea of this section is to help seniors understand some of the risks, both current and future, that they are facing. This is not intended to be a comment about either major political party. The goal is to provide unbiased information so that each senior can make up their own mind about major life altering issues. We will generally refer to the average senior as having a modicum of retirement/savings; however, we are well aware that there are many seniors who survive from one day to the next only because they receive Social Security payments and help from Medicare.

Is your family’s estate plan up to date and why should you care?

Over the past few years, the U.S. Congress has made substantial changes to the IRS Estate and Gift Tax Laws. It is too technical to cover here but if the reader is interested here is a link that will help explain some of those changes _______________.

Why should you care if your family’s estate plan is up to date? If you happen to be the senior who passes away you won’t care. However, I can guarantee you that your survivors will be mad at you for not spending the time and yes, a little money, to insure they are protected from the mess that you might inadvertenly leave them to clean up.

Recently, I was saddened to lose a close personal friend. He was a very successful man who died much too soon. Before he passed, we were able to put in some amount of estate planning. However, he was too ill to listen to some of the more complicated things that we could have done that would have saved his children millions of dollars in IRS Estate Taxes.

I had spoken with over the past few years on many occasions about sitting down with an estate planning attorney and creating an effective estate plan. He was always too busy running his businesses to take the time to do it. He thought he would live forever. I remember telling him needed to do it over and over.

Every senior with a family needs to think about how their family is going to impacted if they die, or perhaps even worse, if they become a victim of dementia. If they have a living trust who is the successor trustee? Is that person or persons qualified to manage their various investments and/or business operations? Are there children who might be able to help? How is the surviving spouse going to be able to cope with the enormity of their loss? These are a hundred other questions need to be considered.

Seniors need to act today. We should all think about the idea that tomorrow is promised to no one. Act today!!!!!