Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop, the CDC explains. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all milestones, and one important function of well-child visits to a healthcare provider is to follow those signs of development. In the event developmental services are needed, those can be started early.
At the same time, bringingupgreatkids.org reminds us, children‘s developmental pathways may differ, and it is normal for children to experience developmental spurts and slow spots in different areas of their development over time.
As both a dad and an estate planning attorney, I can see a number of parallels here; just as children’s development needs to be periodically monitored, estate plans need periodic review as individual and family needs change and develop.
“Estate plans can become outdated, which can lead to unpleasant surprises for heirs,” Northern Trust points out, offering just a few examples of changing life factors that signal the need for an estate planning review:
- tax policy changes
- a change in goals such as supporting entrepreneurship or environmental objectives
- change of heart about a vacation property
- unused gift tax exclusions
- change in staff or ownership in a business or partnership \
Pennsylvania attorneys Marshall, Parker, & Weber call attention to several reasons clients might consider updating their power of attorney:
- Your agent moved away or died.
- You’ve changed your thinking about end-of-life or terminal care treatment.
- You want to make sure your power of attorney allows actions to help you qualify for Medicaid benefits if needed.
- You’ve moved from one state to another.
- You’ve become involved with a cause or charitable organization and want to include that charity in your planning.
Fidelity.com lists even more life developments that signal an estate planning review might be in order:
- birth or adoption of a new child or grandchild
- marriage or divorce
- purchase of a large property or other asset
- receipt of a large gift or inheritance
- career changes
- health changesAt Geyer Law, we know life changes are a signal for an estate planning checkup!