Monday, December 17, 2012

Delayed Parenthood and Estate Planning

With no fiscal cliff resolution imminent, it has been slow in the estate planning news world (but slammed in the estate planning practice).  The New Republic had a great article on delayed parenting and the possibility of developmental issues for the children.

Viewing the article through the estate planning prism, I noted the following potential issues:

1.  Parents need wills and trusts immediately.  The risk of sudden death or terminal illness is greater for a 40+ year old than someone in their late 20s.
2.  The trusts might need special needs provisions to protect the children's governmental benefits.
2.  Selection of a guardian to handle a child with even minor developmental disabilities is tremendously important.
4.  Because the children are younger when the parents are older, parents need to rely on siblings and friends to handle their affairs until their children become old enough to assist the parents with their affairs.  

Of course, estate planning assumes a certain level of personal responsibility and rational thought.  I am not sure than anyone desiring children in their 60s and 70s is being responsible or acting rationally with respect to their children.