Updating Your Will After Your Children Move Out of the House

It is common to wonder when you should update your will and estate planning documents – after all, life circumstances are always changing, and these circumstances might bring important updates to your long-term plans. As a general rule, we typically advise clients to update their estate plans every three to five years, or when there is a life change that warrants an update. One such change might be having children that move out of the house. Below are some of the ways you might want to consider updating your will when this occurs.

Updating Your Estate’s Executor

The first way you might want to change your will after your children move out is by considering an update to your estate executor. As your children transition into young adulthood, they might make competent and responsible executors that could carry out the terms of your will after you pass. This is not a decision to take lightly, and it is not necessarily recommended if your children are still in their late teens or early twenties. As they age, however, they could be a smart choice for your estate executor.

Preparing for Your Child’s Marriage

If and when your child gets married, this might also warrant an update to your estate plan. For example, would you like to name your child’s spouse specifically in your estate plan? Or, conversely, would you like to set up a trust so that your child’s spouse is unable to access your assets once you pass? Making your will as specific as possible is always a good idea, and this level of specificity helps you leave nothing to chance.

Passing Wealth to the Next Generation

As your child grows up, you might also want to think about how to gift them money in a way that minimizes the eventual tax penalty on your estate. You could, for example, think about how you want to fund your child’s educational endeavors, given that this is an effective way to pass wealth on without paying any taxes. You could also gift your child money every year (up to $18,000, or $36,000 for a married couple) that is not subject to tax penalties. By passing wealth on now, while your child is a young adult, you can set them up for success and avoid some of the tax consequences down the road.

Is McCulloch & Miller the Estate Planning Firm for You?

If you need a Houston estate planning attorney for you or your family, get in touch with us at McCulloch & Miller. We recognize that estate planning never involves just one person, and we take pride in our holistic approach that helps you and your loved ones achieve your financial goals. If you are looking for an empathetic, thorough, experienced team of Houston estate planning attorneys, we might just be the firm for you.
For a consultation with an attorney from our firm, give us a call today at 713-903-7879. You can also fill out our online form with your contact information to have an attorney get back in touch with you as soon as possible about your estate plan.


Contact Information