Life Series

  • Life Series IX: Update Estate Plans When Kids Grow to Adults

    For Harry and Sally, children entering adulthood was another parenthood milestone. They gradually accepted the need to talk with their children as full-fledged adults, particularly regarding family matters that could impact the children’s lives.

    Although uncomfortable, those discussions focused on decisions that would have to be made if Harry and Sally became disabled or died.

  • Life Series Part I: When the First Child Arrives, A Will Shouldn't Be Far Behind

    When Harry and Sally decided to tie the knot in marriage, they knew that their lives would head down a much different path from when they were single -- new joys, family, friends and responsibilities.

  • Life Series Part II: When Your Family Grows, Make Sure Everyone is Protected

    Three years flew by for newlyweds Harry and Sally, and they soon were expecting their second child. When baby Chloe arrived, they were overjoyed that their first born Claire would now have a sister.

  • Life Series Part III: Time to Start Thinking Long Term

    Life for Sally and Harry starts to take a more established path after 8 years of marriage, now that they’ve just had their third child and Harry has moved up the ranks at work.

  • Life Series Part IV: Medical Treatment Consent Forms to Cover Kids While You Are Away

    As they approached their 15th wedding anniversary, Harry sprung a surprise on his wife Sally -- a 2-week whirlwind vacation in Europe for two in July, without their three children who attend grade school and are no longer in need of constant care.

    Harry had already asked Sally’s retired parents if they could take care of Claire, Ethan, and special needs child Chloe. The grandparents responded that they were all too happy to have their grandchildren to themselves for two weeks.

  • Life Series V: Wills Need to be Revisited as Life Changes Adults should review their wills every five years due to changes in life's situations.

    Throughout their 20 years of marriage, Harry and Sally spent much of their time taking care of each other and then their three children as they arrived. But during the last two years, they also had to devote energy to caring for Harry’s father who eventually died from Alzheimer’s disease, and then administering the estate he left to the family.

    Harry’s father hadn’t touched his will in 10 years -- even after Harry’s mother died -- so much of the document was outdated. Simple changes such as the addition of Harry and Sally’s third child weren’t made in the will, along with adjustments to the situation with Harry’s sister, who had gone through a divorce.

  • Life Series VI: Parents Should Have a Medical POA for College-Bound Kids College-bound students should sign a Medical POA to cover themselves for health care emergencies.

    Claire had always been a go-getter when it came her studies in high school, so it wasn’t a surprise to her parents Harry and Sally when she announced plans to attend college. On the contrary, Sally and Harry would have been disappointed if Claire had passed up the opportunity to make the most of her academic talents.

    But while they had saved for her college education, Harry and Sally hadn’t banked on all the incidentals that come with supporting an 18-year-old child and legal adult who needed to move several hours away from her hometown.

  • Life Series VII: College Kids and Cars at School Parents would do well to review their auto insurance policies before they let their children take their cars for use at college.

    Harry and Sally thought they had been prudent about saving for Claire’s college education, and they paid for her first two years to limit her debt. Claire took out student loans and used her own savings from her summer jobs for the remaining two years.

    But Harry and Sally hadn’t anticipated all the additional expenses that Claire was incurring now that she was starting her junior year and would be living off campus.

  • Life Series VIII: Don’t Co-Sign for a Student Loan Until You’ve Read the Fine Print Parents who cosign on college student loans are financially responsible for the entire loan in the case of default.

    With Claire’s renters insurance and car situation squared away as she prepared for her junior year of college, Harry and Sally felt confident that their daughter was ready to go. So they were somewhat blindsided when Claire asked a blockbuster question: Would they co-sign her student loan of $50,000?