5 Items to Update in Your Will as an Empty Nester

The kids are grown and flown, now is the time to update your will and estate plan and focus on your future

You’ve devoted 18-plus years to giving your child wings to fly on their own, and now you’re faced with an empty nest, but there’s nothing empty about the future—you now get to focus on and plan for yourself! Planning for your future starts with updating your will and estate plan.


Here are 5 items to consider changing or eliminating now that your children are adults:

  1. Medical Power of Attorney:

    Should you or your spouse become medically incapacitated or unable to make your own medical decisions, you may list your now-adult child as the medical power of attorney. In doing so, your child will have legal access to your medical records and the ability to make important life decisions on your behalf if your spouse is incapable of doing so.

  2. Financial Executor:

    Now that you have an adult child and you (and your spouse) are getting older, it may be a good idea to add your child as a financial executor after your spouse (who is most commonly the financial executor if you should die, but not in all cases.)

  3. Guardianship:

    You may have an extensive short-term or permanent guardianship section outlined in your will. Now that your child is legally responsible for him or herself, you may omit this section altogether or change guidelines if you have a child with special needs or physical disabilities that require caregiving. An experienced estate planner can help guide you through this.

  4. Redirect Inheritance Funds:

    If you have directives in your estate plan specific to college funding if you died before your child reached college-age, but your child is 18 and now heading off to higher education. Now’s the time to redirect those funds elsewhere. Remember that now that it’s just you and possibly your spouse, your expenses will dramatically decrease, leaving more money for you to save and invest, accruing more inheritance funds for your beneficiaries in the long run.

  5. Choosing How and When to Allocate Assets and Inheritance:

    You know your children and what would benefit them the most when deciding how and when to leave your legacy and assets to grown children. An experienced estate planner can help you craft your will and estate plan that will not only include your grown children but future grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.

No matter what you choose to update in your will and estate plan now that your children are out of the nest, you’ll need to have a conversation with them about your will, especially when it comes to Medical Power of Attorney and Financial Executor. Making sure your end-of-life wishes and decisions come to fruition depends on communication with your heirs and beneficiaries.


READ MORE: “Does my 18-year old Need a Last Will in Testament?”