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By Christine Benz | 12-05-2017 02:00 PM

Creating a Durable Estate Plan

Christine Benz says retirees should keep some key documents on hand to help stay organized.

Christine Benz: Hi, I'm Christine Benz for Morningstar.com. Every retiree needs to develop and maintain some key documents. At the top of the list is an estate plan: a will, a living will, and powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters. Up-to-date beneficiary designations also fall under the estate planning heading. It's valuable to check up on them every year to make sure that they reflect your current wishes and family situation. 

In addition, I'd recommend that retirees maintain what I've called a master directory, spelling out basic information about your financial accounts and financial professionals you deal with. Keep this document under lock and key--or encrypted--and let a trusted loved one know of its existence. 

A retirement policy statement is another must-have document: It details your main retirement assets, the system you'll use to draw down your portfolio in retirement, and when your required minimum distributions start. Having an RPS can help ensure that your portfolio plan is well-thought-out and sustainable. We have a template for an RPS available on Morningstar.com. 

Thanks for watching. I’m Christine Benz for Morningstar.com.

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