HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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4. REVIEW BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION FORMS

This is probably the No.1 overlooked step. Your retirement accounts, life insurance and even some bank accounts may name a person to receive the assets upon your death. This person is your beneficiary. Ask your financial institution for the most current version of your beneficiary designation form. Make sure what they have on record is still what you want. You may want to consider adding a “per stirpes” designation, split the proceeds according to different percentage or designate a trust.


5. GATHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Place all your important documents in a folder together and put them in a safe place. In addition to your legal documents, place bank account information, life insurance policies, retirement account information and passwords in the folder for your loved ones to find easily if necessary. If you are putting your documents in a bank’s lock box, make sure your loved ones know that they are there. Make copies of all your documents or scan them into your computer for easy reference.


With those five simple steps, you are ready to start off in the New Year with a bang! Congratulations!   

Welcome to 2021! The past year has been a rollercoaster. To prepare for 2021 and the unexpected future, we recommend taking a few minutes to make sure your estate plan is up to date.


The beginning of the year is a great time to plan for your future. If you have already done some estate planning, it is time to review your documents.


Here are some tips:


 1. REVIEW ANY CHANGES IN THE PAST YEAR

Did you have any big changes last year? Did you get married or divorced? Did you have a kid? Did your assets or income change or was there a death in your family? Your documents need to reflect any of these changes.


2. REVIEW YOUR POWERS-OF-ATTORNEY

Kentucky’s power-of-attorney (POA) law changed significantly in 2020. While you should have an attorney review your document, here are a couple of things to look for.


5 TIPS TO REVIEW YOUR ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS


3. REVIEW YOUR WILL

Find your will and actually read it! Here are some things to review in your last will and testament:


MARY ELLIS PATTON



Mary Ellis Patton is an associate at Bluegrass Elderlaw, PLLC in Lexington, Kentucky. In her practice, Mary uses customized Powers-of- Attorney, Wills, and Trusts to help clients to achieve their financial, legal, and health care goals. Mary is licensed to practice law in both Kentucky and Ohio. She is the author of Chapter 13, Age Discrimination, of the Kentucky Practice Series, Elder Law Volume.