What once seemed like something too remote in the future to devote any serious thoughts to suddenly happened. All of your kids are out the door and out on their own. Once this happens, and your children are no longer financially dependent on you for support, the focus of your estate plan will also shift. At this point, you will want to make sure that:
- you have enough financial resources to support both spouses throughout the expected lifetime of each;
- you are prepared for the high cost of long-term disability care, if necessary; and
- the surviving spouse is well cared for, both physically and financially.
Once you have these steps taken care of, and estate taxes are looming as a possibility, then you will want to explore options to spend down your estate by making use of the annual gift tax exclusions, charitable gifts, or a combination of these methods.