Your estate plan is a snapshot of you, your family, your assets, and the tax law in effect at the time it was created. Your life changes over time and so should your estate plan. This timeline identifies some of the major milestones that many of us experience during our lifetimes. When you pass one of these milestones, it is important to update your estate plan to reflect the changing circumstances of your life. If you have any questions about your estate plan or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at (612) 295-6935.


  • Marriage

    Create a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive/Living Will documenting your intentions for asset distribution, plans for incapacity, and end of life decisions.

  • Children

    Update your Will to include testamentary trust provisions to hold and manage assets for minor children. Nominate guardians to care for minor children.

  • Start a Business

    Consider creating a trust and business succession plan for easier control of your business, tax planning, and financial privacy.

  • Asset Accumulation

    If your investments/savings exceed $75,000 and/or you own multiple parcels of real estate, consider creating a trust to avoid probate and to help your family manage your affairs should you become incapacitated.

  • Asset Accumulation

    If your estate exceeds $1.8 million (Minnesota estate tax exemption*) or $5.49 million (federal estate tax exemption), a revocable trust with tax planning provisions can significantly reduce your estate tax liability.
    *The State of Wisconsin has no estate tax.

  • Divorce/Remarriage

    Update your Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive/Living Will to remove outdated provisions referencing a former spouse or add provisions pertaining to a new spouse. Update your life insurance and retirement account beneficiary designations. If remarrying, consider creating a prenuptial agreement.

  • Retirement

    Update your Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive/Living Will to adjust for changing financial and health circumstances. Consider creating a trust that can provide a steady income stream while reducing your estate tax liability.

  • Delegation Phase

    Meet with an estate planning attorney annually to confirm that your Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive/Living Will are up to date. Consider appointing your adult children in decision making roles, including personal representative, trustee, and attorney-in-fact.