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Estate Planning and Retirement Go Hand in Hand

For those New York residents that are already retired or approaching retirement age, there are a number of important steps to help make the golden years all that they can be. A Michigan financial advisor recently made note of some things to consider. Surely, anyone who has not yet prepared an estate plan should get started.

In deciding with whom to confer, a top-selling author suggests that individuals should try to work with a financial advisor who is also an attorney in order to provide a more seamless estate plan. Individuals with qualifications such as this are able to communicate effectively with their client's estate lawyer. Perhaps the best scenario is when a multi-disciplinary team coordinates responsibilities among a wealth advisor, the investor's attorney, CPA and insurance advisors.

In consulting a wealth advisor, it is generally recommended that a "fee only" advisor be retained. These individuals have the highest degree of legal responsibility to a client, can have no conflicts of interest and are sworn to offer objective and independent advice. This type of advisor is duty bound to put the interests of the client first, as opposed to a broker, whose duty is limited merely to "suitability."

There are many options available to individuals when creating an estate plan that eliminates a hefty tax burden and aids in preserving investments for beneficiaries. There are a variety of trusts available to fit each client's specific needs. Additionally, an estate planning attorney can assist in creating durable powers of attorney for property and healthcare needs.

The goal is to create an investment portfolio is diversified within and among various asset classes while minimizing volatility risk. Many individuals understand these are complicated issues that depend on a variety of facts and circumstances. A New York resident would do well to consult with an attorney experienced in helping individuals and families create and maintain fluid estate plans that can change and grow with the times.

Source: Greater Lansing Business Monthly, "Approaching retirement FAQ," Oct. 31, 2011