As your family changes, so too should your estate plan. We have blogged about the necessity of updating or refreshing your estate plan in previous posts, but today we want to turn our attention to changing your plan in light of your growing family. This issue is especially important if you are a new family, have young children, or have experienced a significant change in your personal life or affairs. You should always talk to your attorney before you make any decisions about changing your estate plan, but there are specific situations in which you should consider making changes as soon as possible.
The Birth or Adoption of a Child
When you have a child, either by birth or by adoption, your estate planning needs change dramatically. Not only will your estate plan need to protect you and your interests, but it will also need to make provisions for the new child in your life. You might also have to take into consideration other issues, such as spousal inheritance rights, decision-making abilities in light of incapacitation, guardianship questions, and many others. If you already have a child and are expecting another one, you also need to go back and revise your estate plan to reflect your new circumstances.
Guardian Selection as Children Change
Children don’t stay the same, and as they age, their needs change. Many people who create an estate plan when they have a young child fail to update their plans as the child ages. But it’s necessary to update your plan to protect your child’s interests as that child gets older.
One the most important decisions you need to make is, for example, the selection of who you want to be your child’s guardian in the event you and the child’s other parent should die. Selecting a guardian for a very young child is a different situation than selecting a guardian for, for example, a teenager. The guardian you selected when your child was young may not be the ideal guardian to have for an older child.
Parents Get Older
Not only will you need to make changes to your estate plan if your children get older or your marital situation changes, but you might also need to make changes if your parents get older and start losing the abilities they once had. Matching your needs against the needs of caring for elderly parents can be a difficult line to walk, but it is something you will need to consider. If you haven’t already done so, you should talk to your attorney about what plans you can make for protecting your parents as they age, as well as for protecting you and your family’s interests.
Call Us With Your Questions
If you are a current client with Hammond Law Group and haven’t gotten your trust reviewed with us in the last 3 years, call us today to get an appointment scheduled with an attorney so they can look over your trust and ensure it still meets your needs. If you are not a current client of Hammond Law Group but have a trust set up through someone else, we would be happy to review it for you. Contact us today to talk with someone about getting a time on the calendar that works best for you.