If we’re going for a metaphor, it might well be said that crafting an effective estate plan is akin to building a family home.
Take that latter image for a moment. A so-called “starter” home is a dwelling that provides safe and sufficient surroundings for a young single person or a newly married couple. Such an abode serves that demographic well – but often only for a limited time.
Enter the kids, which materially transform a family, of course, and serve as the catalyst for evolving transformation.
That it, a growing family unit likely calls for more space and new safeguards. It is often the case, too, that additional family changes – pets, perhaps grandparents moving in, more kids, new jobs, school-focused challenges/opportunities and so forth dictate even more adjustments to the home and family-based life.
The same is true for any estate plan aimed at remaining viable over time. The particulars of that plan cannot be deemed static; time throws up material life changes, which must be timely and appropriately responded to.
We noted in our April 1 blog post a recent Forbes piece addressing the power and utility of a well-considered estate planning strategy that timely responds to life’s meaningful changes. That article duly notes that the contours of a sound plan necessarily change over time, based on a planner’s “current age and unique financial needs and goals.”
There goes that static quality. Everyone needs a will and basic financial and health care power of attorney documents, but the planning ante is upped once a family is blessed with children. A proven planning professional will be sure to discuss matters surrounding guardianship, life insurance, special needs and other protections that often become instantly relevant for an expanding family.
That continued flexibility persists across all of life’s key transitional phases, addressing concerns such as the preservation of wealth, retirement, the passing of assets to future generations, purposeful response to elder concerns and more.
In short, the tinkering never stops on that aforementioned starter home aka initial estate plan.
Questions concerning the crafting of an effective estate plan – and the periodic modifications that support and powerfully expand its foundations – can be addressed to an experienced estate planning and tax attorney.