As social trends continue to change, the typical age of a first-time mother keeps getting older. This can have a big impact on estate planning for those who have children later in life.
Over the last two decades, per the Pew Research Center, the number of mothers who are at least 40 years old has tripled. Technically, reports claim this is for those in their mid-40s or older, so you're talking about a lot of people who are 45, 50 and older.
As a result, it is now far more likely that a first-time mother will be at least 35 years old. While many women had children at 35 and beyond before, these may have been second or third children. Now, far more of them are first children, who could still be followed by siblings at even older ages.
Are women still having kids between 20 and 24 years old? Certainly. However, the number of women who do so has been dropping. It is clear that modern women are simply putting off starting a family for longer than they have in the past.
What type of impact could this have on your estate planning? For one thing, if you're doing your estate planning at 55 years old, you may still have minor children who need guardians, trusts and other estate planning tools to help them if you pass away unexpectedly. A child born when you were 40 would just be 15 years old. If you had that child when you were only 25 years old, he or she would already be 30. Planning to leave assets to minors is vastly different, in many cases, than leaving them to adults.
As a result, if you have a child later in life, take a moment to consider the impact on your estate plan and what steps you need to take.