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5 Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Retirement

By Molly Zilli, Esq. on May 07, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Some of us dream about the day we get to retire, others dread it. Either way, you've got to plan for it. Maybe you want to travel. Perhaps you'd like to keep working a little while collecting your pension. Or maybe you're so in debt that you think you'll have to work until the day you die. Whatever your situation, here are five important questions to ask a lawyer before retirement. After all, the better you plan, the more likely you are to have peace of mind both now and after you retire.

Do I Need a Will?

Yes, you should have a will. And no, you shouldn't wait until retirement to create one. An attorney can help you craft or revise the type of will you'd like. You'll select your beneficiaries, who should raise your children if you and your spouse die while they are still minors, and a host of other important decisions. There's a good chance you'll want to revise your will before or during retirement as well.

What's an Advance Directive?

An advanced directive explains the kind of medical treatment you want, and says who can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. A lawyer can help you cover your bases in this area so that things are relatively straightforward during times of tragedy or uncertainty.

How Will Tax Laws Affect My Retirement Income?

Tax laws are constantly changing and some states have more retirement-friendly tax laws than others. A lawyer can advise you on how your assets and income will be taxed in retirement.

Can I Work and Still Collect My Pension in Retirement?

Many retirees decide to continue working in some capacity after they retire, and some are forced to when they realize they're not bringing in enough income to sustain their lifestyle. In any case, you might wonder how this will affect your pension. An ERISA attorney will be able to answer your retirement income questions so that there are fewer surprises in this area.

Should I Declare Bankruptcy Before Retirement?

While bankruptcy is usually a last resort for people living with overwhelming debt, it may be necessary for your situation. A lawyer familiar with bankruptcy law can answer your questions about what types of debt can be discharged in bankruptcy and how much time you might need to build savings for retirement.

Whether you're retiring soon, trying to plan for the distant future, or have been in retirement for some time, contact an attorney to make sure you've got all your bases covered.

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