Older parents are becoming more common, driven in part by changing mores and surrogate motherhood. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at 50. But later-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations.
The first consideration is to make sure you have an estate plan and that estate plan is up to date. One of the most important functions of an estate plan is to name a guardian for your children in your will and this goes double for a parent having children late in life. If you don’t name someone to act as guardian, the court will choose the guardian. Because the court does not know your kids like you do, the person they choose may not be ideal.
In addition to naming a guardian, you may also want to set up a trust for your children so that your assets are set aside for them when they get older. If a child is the product of the second marriage, a trust may be a particularly important. A trust can give your spouse rights, but allow someone else-the trustee-the power to manage the property and protect it for the next generation. If you have older children, a trust could, for example, provide for a younger child’s education and then divide the remaining amount among all of the children.