To your chagrin, you are often mistaken as your child’s grandparent whether at the park, grocery store or school conference. You are not old. You just happen to be a late-in-life parent, who experienced the joys of fatherhood in your 50s.
While you have concerns about your health and whether you will see your child reach adulthood, you should instead focus on estate planning. As a late-in-life parent, you have additional concerns that will require extra steps in creating an estate plan.
Create a trust, name a guardian
Here are some estate planning options that any late-in-life parent should consider:
- The creation of a trust: Overseen by a trustee, this tool sets aside assets for your child, who will receive those assets in increments. A trust represents a solid estate planning approach involving children from second or third marriages.
- In your will, implement a testamentary trust: Once you die, the estate will move to such a trust, which is managed by a trustee. The assets are distributed to your child when needed, and your child will gain control of the trust once he or she reaches a certain adult age as specified in the will.
- Promptly name a legal guardian: In case of your death and the death of the child’s other parent, you need to name a guardian in your will. Find someone willing to raise your child. This person should share the same values as you, have a strong financial base and a loving home where your child can thrive.
- Do not overlook retirement investments and life insurance policies: Such assets do not fall under the scope of a will. As a result, you must name beneficiaries for IRAs, 401(k)s, other retirement plans and life insurance. Consider naming your children as beneficiaries.
- Make regular investments in your retirement plans: Building up your investment portfolio continues to be crucial as a late-in-life parent. Ideally, you do not want to become a financial burden for your child should you become ill and incapacitated.
- Create a 529 plan: This tool allows you to build college savings for your child’s education. The sooner you invest in it, the better.
As a late-in-life parent, it is important to give extra thought to estate planning. You and your family will gain many benefits, including peace of mind.
A firm financial foundation
As an older parent, you understand what is at stake. A solid estate plan will address your wishes on what happens to your assets, which you hope will provide a firm financial foundation for your children.