Take a poll of your family and friends – both young and old. Ask them what they consider a “traditional” family to be. You might be surprised at the answers. As a society, we are moving into a different style of life that many of us would have labeled nontraditional 25 years ago.

From an estate planning standpoint, you might want to take a closer look at what’s going on in your own family. Estate planning used to be easy: The spouse inherited everything, then the kids got equal distributions with the eldest son in charge. Things have changed! The modern family has arrived and is here to stay.

Have there been multiple marriages, either by you or your children? What about long-time live in partnerships? Have there been any out-of-wedlock children? Should a spouse of a deceased child be provided for? Are there step-children or step-grandchildren? Should the children from your first marriage inherit less than the children from your current marriage because they stand to inherit from your former spouse? Who will pay for your assisted living or nursing home care?

There are many circumstances that should require an estate planning review to make sure that your family benefits the way you intend them to. Sometimes a simple change to your Will with a Codicil will be enough.

Maybe it’s time to consider a Trust. Our estate planning lawyers are here to help walk you through the intricate paths of non-traditional estate planning.