Americans are living longer than ever before. According to some estimates, the average Californian today can expect to live well into their 80s. While an increased life expectancy affords retirees additional time with friends and family, it poses an unprecedented challenge to conventional estate planning practices, which often anticipate earlier inheritance distribution. People living longer impacts inheritances

Longer Life Span Can Affect Estate Planning

Few Californians will lament that the Golden State has one of the highest average life expectancies in the United States. Estimates vary, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that residents of the nation’s most populous state are likely to celebrate their 80th birthdays in reasonably good health.

However, living longer can challenge long-standing advice about how to establish a proactive estate plan. While many older adults intend to leave their children inheritances, most estate planning strategies only disburse inheritances upon or after the testator’s death.

With more people living into their 80s and 90s, many children do not receive an inheritance until they have already reached retirement age themselves.

Re-Evaluating Conventional CA Estate Planning Strategies

  • Consider life’s unexpected challenges. An effective estate plan does far more than detail how an estate should be dissolved. Even a simple will provides Californians with the opportunity to protect their family’s interests by naming a guardian for a minor child, making critical health care decisions, and setting aside money for emergency expenses. 
  • Anticipate new timelines. Estate plans need to account for America’s rapidly-changing realities. Older adults often spend more in retirement than they expect. Over time, age-related expenses—from the costs of routine medical care to accommodation in an assisted living facility—can eat away at an estate’s assets, leaving little for adult children and other intended heirs. Many of these potential obstacles can be overcome through alternate estate planning strategies, including the giving of lifetime gifts and the establishment of conditional living trusts.

While higher life expectancies can make it more difficult to balance a retiree’s needs with the terms of an estate plan, an experienced California estate planning attorney could help you establish a strong estate plan—one that provides for your needs without minimizing the impact of your legacy. 

The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc. for Your Estate Planning Needs

If you need to create an estate plan, update your current plan, or handle the estate of someone who’s died, The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc. is here to help. We only handle estate planning and post-death administration, and together, our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience in these fields.

Our law firm has helped over 25,000 people in California leave a lasting legacy to their loved ones, getting to know each client, listening to their concerns, and learning about their needs and goals to create a plan that carries out their wishes. Additionally, we’ve implemented 4,000 plans after clients have passed away. Let us take care of you throughout the estate planning process. Contact The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc., or call us at 1-800-756-5596.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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