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Can heirs count on wills or trusts for retirement income?

Clark County residents are no different from people all across the country when it comes to caring about their families and friends. Writing a will or creating trusts with the intention of providing future financial security for loved ones is an important step in the process.

Without careful estate planning - on the part of both the person making the will and the beneficiary - money can run out far sooner than you anticipated. Heirs often believe that a windfall inheritance will be the means by which retirement income is secured, but that isn't always possible.

According to a California woman whose father passed away earlier this year, counting on an inheritance of about $80,000 in cash and stocks didn't work out as expected. After dealing with her emotional job, as well as a job loss, the 58-year-old intended to rely on her inheritance to provide necessary income for plans that included travel and home improvements. Like many beneficiaries throughout the country, including those in Nevada, the woman didn't count on dealing with so many estate-related complications.

Poor planning and assumptions on the part of a person creating a will or a beneficiary can affect financial outcomes. The California heir made the mistake of closing her father's credit union and bank accounts before the estate work was complete. This made it more difficult to cash checks made out to the estate. If a living trust were in place, the woman may have found it easier to avoid monetary delays.

It is not unusual for people to assume their property and assets will end up providing for their loved ones. The volatile state of the economy and unplanned for events can combine to reduce the planned-for value of estates. It's a good idea for any individual to plan for retirement outside of possible windfalls, and anyone wanting to provide care for beneficiaries after death should take the time to understand legal requirements for wills and trusts and regularly update those documents with current information.


Source: 
Los Angeles Times, "Windfall won't ensure a comfortable retirement" Ronald D. White, Oct. 20, 2013

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