When it comes to raising a family in Florida, ensuring that your estate plan is up-to-date and as complete as possible is essential. Most people don’t want to have to use the tools in their estate plan before they are absolutely necessary, but having the right tools in place serves as a vital safety net for you and your family. Understanding how these tools need to change as your family grows up, and how your needs and desires change, is an important lesson to learn if you intend to get the most from the plan you spent so long developing. Here are several reasons why you might need to change your plan as your family grows up.
Changing Your Child’s Guardian as Your Child Grows Up
When you first select a guardian for your child, you probably did so when the child is very young. Going through the process of evaluating your child’s needs and selecting who would be the right person to raise the child in the event you died can be a difficult decision, but it is one that is necessary.
Once selected, however, periodically reviewing your guardian choice as the child gets older is also important. This is because, as your child grows up, his or her needs change. The guardian you had selected when your child was an infant might have been a great choice then, but may not be suitable now.
Is the guardian you chose before still the ideal candidate, or is there someone new who would better serve in the guardianship role? While it may not be necessary to change your guardian selection, considering whether your child would be better off with a different guardian as he or she ages is something you will want to take the time to do.
Changing Your Plan as Your Parents Age
Beyond updating your estate plan to reflect the changes in your family as your children grow up, you might also need to consider changes if your parents are getting older. As your parent’s abilities change, you will need to consider what you might have to do if they become more reliant on you or need more help in the future. Not only might you need to make financial choices, but you might also need to make decisions about elder care, medical issues, and other similar questions.
Changing Your Plan as You Age
Once your child is old enough to own property and make decisions on his or her own, you might need to make new changes to your estate plan. For example, because your child is now an adult, you won’t need to worry about a guardian, but you might also need to pay more attention to your inheritance choices. Further, if you and your spouse are getting older, you might consider giving one of your children a representative role in your estate plan.