submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire – www.GummerElderLaw.com
It is becoming more common for people to be parents at an older age. Steve Martin had his first child at age 67 and Janet Jackson had a child at age 50.
However, later-in-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations.
For older parents, the first consideration is to have an up-to-date estate. One of the most important functions of an estate plan is to have a guardian designated in your will for your children.
This goes double for a parent who has children late in life.
If you do not name someone to serve as guardian, the court will have to make the decision.
In addition to naming a guardian, you may want to set up a trust for your children so that your assets are set aside for them for when they are older.
If a child is the product of a second marriage, a trust may be particularly important.
A trust can give your spouse rights, but allow someone else – the trustee – the power to manage the property and protect it for the next generation.
Another consideration is retirement savings.
Financial advisors generally recommend prioritizing saving for your own retirement over saving for college, because students have the ability to borrow money for college and it is tougher to borrow for retirement. One advantage of being an older parent is that you may be more financially stable, making it easier to save for both.
In addition, if you are retired when your children go to college, they may qualify for more financial aid.
Finally, older parents should make sure they have a high level of life insurance, and they should extend term policies to last through their children’s college years.
To make a plan for late-in-life parenthood, contact your elder law attorney now.