The article addresses some ways to deal with changing finances and talks about things to think about when deciding on how to distribute your property. They start with a scenario of your son being a struggling actor, and your daughter being a successful software developer:
A better solution: Bequeath your children an equal amount upon your death, but make gifts as needed to them while you are alive if you can afford it. Want to help your daughter with your grandchildren's education? Contribute to their 529 college savings plans. (The IRS allows you to make the equivalent of five years' worth of gifts to a 529 all at once - that's $65,000 a child, or $130,000 if given by a couple.) The struggling actor is trying to buy a home? Help him with the down payment.
There are exceptions to the "equal" rule, however. A disabled child who is dependent on you will probably require a bigger share of your assets, which you can provide through a so-called special-needs trust. A child who works in the family business may deserve a larger share of it than one who doesn't. No matter what you decide, explain your thinking so that your kids won't have wrenching and potentially costly disputes later...
The article also talks about ways to include charitable giving in your plan, as well as when to revisit your plan. I think the main thing is to make sure you let you attorney know all of your concerns upfront, and to answer their questions honestly. Also, let your attorney know when a change occurs in the family, or if your wishes change. Lastly, talking to your family about your plan and your decisions can do wonders to keep the peace after you've passed.
If you are ready to get started on a new plan, or want to update an old one, call my office for an appointment at 781-749-2284.