By the late twenties to early thirties, Richard has met Jane and gets married.  They move into the house that Richard bought a few years before.  They are expecting their first child.  Life is starting to get interesting.
There are some important changes in Richard and Jane’s estate planning that should be made to address these changes.  Richard and Jane should update their wills to leave all of their property to one another. Richard should retitle the house to be owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship with Jane.  Owning a house as joint tenants with rights of survivorship allows the house to pass automatically to the other spouse on the death of the first spouse.
One of the most important things that Richard and Jane should do in the estate plan is to appoint a guardian for their minor child.  Parent can appoint in their will who is the desired guardian on their death to take care of their children.  The court is required to respect the choice of guardian in the will of the parents, absent a very strong showing that appointing such person guardian of the child would jeopardize the safety of the child.  Appointing of a guardian prevents the court from choosing a relative to care for the children in the absence of the parents.
The needs for estate planning shift throughout life.  It is recommended to have your estate plan reviewed by an experienced estate planning attorney at least every two years.  For more information on estate planning visit