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Estate planning tips for those who have children later in life

The modern American family has changed substantially over the decades, including here in Minnesota. One key difference is that many individuals are having children later in life, which leads to a different family dynamic than when individuals have children at a younger age.

The change can also bring about the need to make different decisions when it comes to a person's estate plan. For example, it may be more important for older parents to include provisions in their will appointing a guardian for their young children, and setting up trusts or other arrangements to provide for the children's needs.

Along those same lines, individuals should ensure their own needs are protected in the event they became ill or incapacitated. First, individuals can engage in proper long-term care planning that will ensure they receive proper care.

Second, by setting up a power of attorney for health care, the individual can appoint someone who will be able to carry out the person's wishes concerning health care decisions, should he or she be unable to do so himself or herself. A living will can also provide directions to doctors and medical professional regarding certain treatments.

For example, many individuals have had discussions with their loved ones regarding whether they would like to receive life sustaining treatments that would prolong their life in the event they are incapacitated. By executing a living will, individuals can put these discussions down on paper, where those wishes will become enforceable.

Having children later in life can be a wonderful thing for St. Paul residents. However, there are many steps that should be taken in order to protect both the children and parents alike. A Minnesota estate planning attorney can help these individuals develop a course of action that protects the interests of those involved, leaving them with peace of mind.

Source: Forbes, "Raising children late in life requires careful planning," April 3, 2014

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