Does an estate plan remain valid after you have a child? It may seem an unusual question, but it came up in estate planning for a young couple we’ll call Jen and Mike.
They said, “Look, we have a one year old and we might want to have another child or two in the future. If so, what happens to our estate planning documents? Will they remain valid?”
The answer for them and others in this situation is that one can always amend the estate plan and build upon it.
If Jen and Mike have more kids in the future, they can amend their estate plan to specifically name the new children. This uses the existing estate plan without starting from scratch.
In addition, one can include after-born children. Such a provision states that if a child is born after the estate plan is signed, that child is included in the plan as if named. It serves as additional security until the plan is updated to actually name the child.
When it comes to estate planning, there’s always a major life event that is either anticipated or a possible concern. Life is just that complex. That’s why estate planning is not intended to be just something that you do once and have it fixed in time. Due to its importance, you don’t want to put off estate planning for a potential future event. Instead, it’s better to just discuss it in the context of planning.
There’s always going to be one more thing on the horizon. But waiting for a “perfect time” to take action instead can lead to getting caught without any kind of estate planning in place when a real need arises. A more sound strategy is to put a foundation into place today, and calibrate it as needed to keep up with changes as they occur.