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Using elder law to provide peace of mind in retirement years

After decades of working, many Delaware couples look forward to retirement. However, at the same time, they may begin to wonder whether they have enough financial security should one of them pass away. Fortunately, making use of elder law could provide some peace of mind in their retirement years.

Two of the most uncomfortable subjects for most couples to discuss are finances and death. Unfortunately, at this time in many Delaware couples' lives, they need to be discussed. Death can bring about numerous financial changes for the surviving spouse, and making plans ahead of time is essential.

A good starting point involves reviewing any beneficiary designations either spouse has on retirement accounts, insurance policies and the like to make sure that they reflect each party's wishes regarding who will receive the funds from those accounts upon death. If an estate plan is already in place, reviewing it could help ensure that it appropriately deals with the financial needs of the surviving spouse. If neither party has an estate plan, this may be a good time to make one.

Dealing with the prospect of death and the potential fallout from it may not be easy, but it is worthwhile. Not only can an elder law attorney help with making estate-planning arrangements, but the lawyer may also be able to help ensure that plans are in place in the event one party becomes incapacitated by an illness or injury. Knowing ahead of time what will happen in either of these eventualities could remove much of the guesswork surrounding the loss of a loved one -- not just for each other, but for the rest of the family as well.

Source: USA Today, "How to prepare financially for being a widow/widower," Robert Powell, Jan. 19, 2018

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