Family Dynamics: Estate Planning 101

School is almost back in session and for many parents, it’s time to celebrate! If your summer was packed with family trips or summer camp, back to school can mean back to reality for many of us. Similar to the concept of Spring cleaning, this is a great time of year to take a look at your family dynamic and see what is missing in your “portfolio.”

According to a study by, 4 out of 10 Americans have a will or living trust. On the other hand, perhaps in part due to recent stories in the news, more than half of adults have a power of attorney in place. This is where someone grants another individual the authority to make medical decisions if they become incapacitated. Contrary to what you might think, these aren’t issues for baby boomers anymore. Families especially, of any generation, should strongly consider estate planning as a top priority. With the kids back in school, now is a great time to refocus energy on what’s most important and stop putting it off.

Ensuring your family is secure in case of emergency or a major life event is a silent gift that may take some time to plan effectively, but in the end is worth the effort. Families without these pieces in place can eventually experience the emotional ups and downs of navigating a painful experience with the additional stress of legal issues.

Ask yourself: “If something happened to me/us”…
  • Who would care for the children?
  • What would happen to our home?
  • Who would take the pets?
  • How would I divide the assets?

In life, things pop up out without warning. Our lives can be hectic but wonderful and it’s easy to put something less than desirable in terms of joy to the back burner. Homework, soccer, dance, and cub scouts get plugged into our smart phones and we go about our day-to-day. As the kids get back into their routine, make today the day that you take the steps to secure your family’s future.

At Wagstaff, our family law experts have a wealth of experience in estate planning – for families at any age and any stage of life. Give us a call today to get started!