Billy Joel just re-upped his chances of spending “The Longest Time” as a new parent.
The 68-year-old crooner has revealed he and his wife are expecting their second child next month. Joel is already the father to two other children: a 31-year-old daughter with ex-wife Christie Brinkley and a 2-year-old daughter with his current wife, Alexis Roderick.
As an older father to young children, Joel joins the ranks of Mick Jagger, who welcomed his eighth child last year at the age of 72.
But older parents need to think about specific estate and financial planning considerations for their situations.
One key tip to keep in mind: Start planning now, even if you don’t know how your family relationships may change with the addition of a new child, Martin M. Shenkman, an estate planning attorney at Shenkman Law, said.
“You’re better off implementing a plan now based on your best guess, and you can always modify those things later,” Shenkman said.
For someone like Joel with a high public profile and substantial wealth, establishing a quiet trust in a state that permits it ‒ like Delaware, Nevada or Alaska ‒ would make sense, according to Shenkman. A quiet trust allows individuals to set aside assets and plan for how they will be divided without informing their beneficiaries. It also keeps those plans out of the public eye.
“There’s less reporting to the people involved so they don’t have to fight,” Shenkman said.
In addition, anyone with multiple children and former spouses should directly address all members of the family in their plan.
“Make sure you deal with each individual to the degree you want to or don’t want to,” Shenkman said. “And if you don’t want to, make that clear too.”
For one client in a similar situation, Shenkman helped establish a trust for the newborn child. The assets in the trust were designed to allocate enough funds to educate that child through college and to the same point in life as the older children. After that, the plan called for an equal division of the client’s assets. But that plan could change if circumstances such as an illness upset the family’s needs. “You have to be flexible,” Shenkman said.