As the legal specialty of elder law expands and estate planning attorneys react to the evolving times, we are seeing new strategies emerge to address all of the eventualities of aging. However, there are some rudimentary elements of estate planning that are as important now as they ever were, and one of these is life insurance.
When you recognize the need for a long term plan that will protect your family throughout your life as you prepare for retirement and beyond, the value of life insurance is self evident. One of the fundamentals of retirement planning is to take advantage of anything that is offered to you for free. This is true of employer matching 401(k) plans, and it is also true of the group life insurance that most companies offer as one of their employee benefits. Companies typically provide a base amount of life insurance for free, but employees can purchase higher levels at reduced rates, and this is probably a good idea for people who have a family.
Whether it is offered to you at work or not, life insurance is a must. When you are younger it ensures your family’s standard of living in the event of your death. It can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your children will go to college and your spouse will be provided for come what may. When you are entering your twilight years, having sufficient life insurance in place can assuage any concerns that you may have about funeral expenses and the costs that go along with the administration of your estate.
It is true that estate planning now includes instruments like living trusts, advance health care directives, and durable powers of attorney. But the longstanding foundational elements of estate planning are still relevant, and life insurance will always serve its purpose.