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Retirement trusts are growing in popularity

Life is constantly changing thanks to new advances in technology that allow most people in Oklahoma to live healthier, longer lives. On average, people are living longer than ever before, creating new opportunities for people to better enjoy the last years of their lives. However, this also means that estate planning strategies that worked for previous generations -- including trusts -- might need to be updated.

A quarter of a century ago, a 65-year-old man could only expect to add another 15 years to his life. In 2016, most 65-year-old men can expect to live another 21 years, creating an additional six years of life that must be accounted for financially. Without any type of fiscal planning, adult children are often tasked with taking on the financial responsibility for their parents' final years. This revelation has many families with aging parents worried.

Luckily for most, the vast majority of people concerned about this potential issue likely already have the tools with which to handle it. Estate plans typically focus on administering estates and minimizing estate taxes, but the evolving need of the elderly population has also prompted a shift with their estate plans. Trusts, for instance, have become effective tools for retirement accounts management. A retirement trust allows the funds to grow with the benefit of deferred tax and requires only a small RMD -- required minimum distribution -- for the account holder when he or she reaches a certain age.

There are a number of other benefits associated with trusts, especially when passing an inheritance on to a child. Retirement trusts even allow for an heir to disclaim his or her interest in an effort to create an even more sizeable inheritance for his or her own children. Whether creating a detailed plan for an estate or planning for necessities during end of life, estate planners in Oklahoma can typically create the most effective plan possible by carefully considering the various benefits of trusts, living wills and powers of attorney.

Source:, "Estate Planning for an Aging Population", John M. Goralka, July 5, 2016

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