And so it goes. As you grow older and life unfolds, your estate plan will change because your goals, hopes, dreams, and fears will change. In addition, the law will change, your children and other loved ones will change, and your estate planning attorney will learn even better ways to serve you. (This is part three of three. Be sure to read all three articles.)
If you get remarried…
If you get remarried, meet with your estate planning attorney. Remarriage brings lots of changes as well as a level of complexity to your estate plan.
You will need to consider your goals and the balance between any children from a previous marriage and your new spouse.
If you wish to foster positive relationships, it is best to have family discussions and let each know how you feel. Let your loved ones know that you’ve done estate planning to ensure they are protected.
Analyze life insurance needs. You may want to purchase additional insurance to give your children an inheritance and provide for your spouse at the same time.
Many step-parent/step-child relationships are torn apart when estate planning mistakes are made such as unintentionally disinheriting children with beneficiary designation and jointly owned property. Or, when children only get what the spouse doesn’t use during his or her lifetime.
Be sure to continue to focus on your own retirement and your children’s college education.
As you enter the “golden” years…
Your children are now adults and are likely named as trusted helpers in your estate plan. Be sure your plan in up to date, reflecting your goals and wishes.
Speak with your estate planning attorney about how you will pay for long term care if needed: private pay, long term care insurance, or governmental assistance.
Be sure that your trusted helpers know your wishes about a funeral and know where your important papers are stored.
If you need help, ask for it! You are not a burden; you are family.
If you have questions about these stages of life and the applicable estate planning, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney. And, please read parts one and two of this three part article.