It’s that time of year again. Thousands of parents are sending their kids off to college or to their first jobs after high school graduation. Many are looking at each other wondering where the time has gone and how the kids grew up so fast. And many wonder what to do next. While you adjust to life as a couple again, we also encourage you to adjust your estate plan.
Why Empty Nesters Should Revisit Their Estate Plans
As you age and as your children grow, your priorities and preference change. You should ensure your estate plan changes accordingly. And it’s never too late to make sure that you, your children and grandchildren will be taken care of as you truly desire.
When revisiting your estate plan, consider working with an experienced estate planning attorney so everything works as a consistent set of guiding principles. Make sure to review all aspects of your plan, including your:
- Will: Do you want to redistribute your wealth in any way? Perhaps you have a new charity you’d like to donate to, or perhaps you want to account for future generations in a more specific manner? Also, if you named a guardian for your minor children (who are now adults), now is a time to remove that guardianship and revisit the terms of any trusts you’ve created.
- Trusts: Speaking of trusts, it is a good idea to review the types of trusts you have in place and whether you want to make adjustments or create new ones now that your kids are out of the house.
- Powers of attorney (POAs): A POA allows a trusted friend or relative to make decisions, sign contracts or address financial matters that come up. Perhaps you would prefer to update your POA to one of your adult children instead of a more distant relative?
- Healthcare directives: With a healthcare directive, or advance directive, you express your wishes for your care if you are unable to make these decisions. Review your directive: Does it still reflect your wishes, or have your preferences for care changed since you last updated it?
Remember, your estate plan protects your assets and helps you maximize what you pass on to your loved ones. To maximize that transfer, and minimize taxes, ensure your plan includes a tax planning document.
Move Into Your Empty Nest Phase With Peace of Mind
Estate planning is a fluid process. It requires regular review, and sometimes, massive overhauls. We often find empty nesters making big estate planning changes once their children are adults. If you feel you might be in that camp now that you’ve sent your kids out into the world, take a little time to review your plan and speak with your estates and trusts lawyer.
If you don’t currently have an attorney to turn to, look to our team. We can help you revisit your estate plan and cross all t’s and dot all i’s on your behalf.