It’s summertime and it is the time for celebration. Children and grandchildren are graduating from High School and College. Perhaps you have a wedding in the family.
These celebrations should also serve as a time to re-evaluate your estate planning documents.
If your children have graduated from High School, they have in all likelihood turned 18 years old. You may be their parent but at this point you do not have any legal authority or rights concerning them. Single children over 18 should have a Durable Power of Attorney and Patient Advocate in place naming their parents as their legal and medical representatives. This will assure that in the case of an emergency, you can continue to assist them in the same way you did prior to their 18th birthday.
If your children have graduated from college, they may now be at an age that you trust their judgement. You may want to remove restrictions from your revocable trust concerning disposition of assets to them. You may want to nominate them as your agent under your Durable Power of Attorney or Patient Advocate Designation.
If there has been a wedding you may want to consider other asset disposition considerations. If you passed away at the same time as a married child, would you want to leave any asset to his or her spouse? Perhaps you are loaning them money for the down payment on a home. Should that be paid back out of their share? Or should the loan be forgiven at the time of your death?
If you have new grandchildren, have you remembered them in your estate plan? Even the smallest gift to a grandchild can mean so much. Also, if their parents were to die, would the grandchildren receive your child’s share? If so, what would be the terms and conditions for distribution.
Estate Plans are not static. They need to change as our lives change. Remember to take care of these details when you are planning for your major life events.