Estate Planning for “Non-Traditional” Families

As a recent article explains, “the definition of a traditional nuclear family has been stretched considerably in the last quarter century.” Now more than ever, it is important for individuals to take the time to sit down and create an estate plan that fits his or her unique needs.

Blended Families

Blended families are families pasted together from broken families. As the U.S. Census Bureau reports, 30% of American marriages include at least one spouse who was already married. Estate planning in blended families is particularly important because the rules of intestate succession – which apply if the person does not leave a will – do not provide for step-children.

Divorced Women

For a woman who is not the primary breadwinner in a marriage, it is important that she understand her worth within the family and the home. Marriage is an economic partnership, and anything owned or acquired during the course of a marriage is subject to equal division between the two spouses. Problems often arise when women allow their husbands to complete the financial planning, and are then economically paralyzed after a divorce. Women should not only take part in the financial planning, but also have their own estate plan in place.

Same Sex Couples

Estate planning is vital for same-sex couples because the rules of intestate succession do not apply to same-sex couples in most states. Therefore, it is important for same sex couples to use estate-planning vehicles such as trusts and insurance policies to ensure that their partner is protected.

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