The Triggers for Updating Your Estate Plan as a Member of the Sandwich Generation

Estate planning is a generational effort. It’s precisely why we believe in “Helping Families & Protecting Generations.” We take pride in helping the people of Wisconsin navigate what’s often a complex estate planning journey, especially for members of the “Sandwich Generation.”

As we’ve talked about previously, the Sandwich Generation represents those who have children of their own but are also still caring for their living parents. There are particular estate planning demands for those stuck in the middle of three generations, and your estate plan(s) demand even more attention than a typical plan. There are numerous triggers for updating your estate plan when it spans several generations. We want to make sure you’re prepared for the changes to come.

Trigger #1: Adjust to Long-Term Care for Your Parents

Planning for the logistics and cost of long-term care for your aging parents is one of the greatest estate planning challenges of today. It can be a stressful and expensive journey, but it also requires an ongoing effort to ensure the right funding is available at the right time. It is important to work with an experienced Estate Planning and Elder Law firm to review estate planning documents, funding, and asset protection for you and your parents as you prepare for this situation or need to make changes while they are receiving care. 

Trigger #2: Your Children Become Adults

As our children approach young adulthood, there are certain estate planning elements that become more urgent. In particular, it’s important to have power of attorney designations in place for children as they become 18. Without this, you may be left in the dark about medical care your adult children are receiving in the event of an emergency or may have no control over their financial situation should they spend irresponsibly. If your children are turning 18 and about to move out on their own, it’s important for parents to get ahead of this. Even if you’re paying for their insurance, you do not legally have access to their medical records or decisions once they turn 18 years old.

Trigger #3: You Get Married, Divorced, or Welcome a New Child

The comings and goings of family life have a direct impact on your estate plan. You might have everything in place today, but if the family structure changes of tomorrow are a common trigger for updating your estate plan. There are legal assumptions and rights granted to married couples, so if you’re getting married you need to account for these. The same is true when you get a divorce: your plan should be updated to remove your former spouse if that is your intention and desire. Bringing a new child into your life also means adding guardianship details to protect your children should you no longer be available to care for them.

Trigger #4: Your Parent is Diagnosed with Dementia

An unfortunate reality of caring for aging parents is the way our bodies and minds change over time. More than 6.5 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia, so your family is not alone in this fight. There are steps your family should take before a diagnosis, but estate planning after a Dementia diagnosis is a new challenge for you and your loved ones. It’s important to act quickly to ensure you have control over the care and finances of your parents who are fighting the disease. At Elder Advisors Law, we have attorneys that are Certified Dementia Practitioners. They have gone through extensive training to effectively communicate with your loved one in this scenario and provide guidance for the family in regards to estate planning and elder law.

Prepare for Estate Planning Updates with Elder Advisors Law

At Elder Advisors Law, we are focused on helping the people and families of Wisconsin maintain their estate plans. That’s why we established our TLC Maintenance Program which provides an opportunity for our clients to have ongoing estate planning services without having to pay a fee every single time you need to speak to an attorney, have a question, or have a minor update to your plan.

If you’re already a client and want to join the TLC Maintenance Program or simply need the assistance of a seasoned estate planning attorney, contact Elder Advisors Law and find peace of mind for the whole family.

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Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.