A month after one of our sons settled into an amazing new apartment four blocks from his graduate school, I asked how he was doing. He reported that graduate studies were challenging and he felt prepared. He developed friends at school. However, he said that moving to a new city and new place had been more difficult than he anticipated.
He loved his new life in an urban setting with everything within walking distance. His new neighborhood was diverse and friendly. All was well. Except that he still experienced troubles adjusting to new circumstances. He left the comfortable confines of a smaller college campus with close friends that he had called home for the four years prior. He knew where to find whatever he needed in the old college town. He knew which supermarkets and shops to frequent on particular days. In sum, all his “routine” was gone and, with it, his comfort level.
I shared with our son a lesson I learned long ago. There are the Big Three life events which inescapably and undeniably cause much stress: changing your relationship status; changing your address; and changing jobs/schools. He was experiencing two of three of these stress-inducing events at once.
The Big Three events are good reminders for all of us to think about our estate plans (or think about getting one if you do not have one!). Getting married, divorced, remarried, becoming a widow, and having grandchildren are all examples changing your relationship status which should make you consider updating any estate plan. Moving across town or across country should trigger an analysis whether your estate plan still meets your changing needs. A promotion, new job or loss of a job should also make you evaluate the details of any estate plan.
As to our son, he quickly developed his new normal and new comfort zone at graduate school. He surprised himself with this unease during transition even though he appreciated that it would be temporary. Nonetheless, it was quite real to him. He settled in on all fronts and just wanted a dog. If you experience one of the Big Three, we cannot take away all the anxiety, but we can help with your new estate planning.