Estate Planning Part 2 – Middle Age

TaxConnections Blogger postEstate planning needs to be re-evaluated during your lifetime as your situation changes.  For middle aged taxpayers there can be significant changes to your estate planning needs.  When your kids are minors, your will should include provisions for caring for the children in case something would happen to you and your spouse.

A great way to set aside assets for minor children is to use trusts.  Trusts can have any number of provisions in them, but they commonly set aside assets that provide for the children until they reach age 25.  It’s probably not a good idea for your 15-year old kids to just inherit all the assets free and clear.  Having a trustee to keep an eye on the money until they are a bit older is probably a good idea.

Once your kids are grown and hopefully responsible adults, you might want to look at your will and trusts again.  Changing beneficiary designations is always a part of estate planning.  When the kids were younger, the beneficiary designations might have been to a trust for the benefit of the kids.  When they reach an age of maturity, you can make them the direct beneficiaries and there might be no need to include trusts in the estate planning.

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