Estate planning with multiple children in the mix can be challenging at times. Children can have disparate values, life goals, and financial situations. Some may be suitable powers of attorney and executors, while others may be less so. Considering all of this, along with other estate planning goals such as charitable giving, can create a bit of a puzzle for some families. Here are two things to think about when building an estate plan with multiple children involved.
Have the right amount of flexibility
When creating an estate plan, it is common for individuals to look at their lives in the present and answer the question “What would I want if I died or become incapacitated today?” This maybe a good starting point, but the reality is that circumstances can change a lot between the initial drafting of a will and the time a person passes away. Therefore, it is important that plans be built to change as circumstances do; for example, setting minimums or maximums for beneficiaries and/or charitable donations, and naming backups for key roles like powers of attorney and executor.
Use the financial tools available
There are many tools that can help individuals and couples create estate plans that work well for their families and can safeguard their values, wealth, and loved ones’ future. Trusts, for example, can be used to make more specific plans about how wealth should be distributed, as well as minimizing probate for an estate. Accounts with beneficiary designations are another helpful tool, if they are kept up to date. Thinking beyond just a will and structuring accounts smartly will help everyone in the long run.
Estate planning can sometimes feel overwhelming and complicated, especially when children are depending on these plans for their future. The good news is that Oregon families do not need to navigate any of this alone. An estate planning lawyer is one of the people that can help families better understand their options and prepare for the future.