Wills and Estate Planning

Family Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families

Creating an estate plan is important, but especially for those families who are considered non-traditional. Not having an estate plan can omit those you love from intended benefits.

Developing an Estate Plan for Non-Traditional Families

By choice, circumstance, or both - families today come in all shapes and sizes. Traditional or non-traditional, the definition of your family makes no difference to you or those you love. However, when it comes to family estate planning, the law looks at the definition of non-traditional families a bit differently.

The number of non-traditional families is growing. And while developing an estate plan is important for nearly everyone, it's particularly critical for couples who are in relationships other than what would be considered traditional under the law.

For example, for unmarried partners who fail to execute a will, the surviving partner may not have a legal right to the other's assets if they don't meet the definition of an interested person (state laws and definitions will vary).1 The situation could become even more complicated as they could very well be excluded from important decisions regarding the health, medical treatment, and financial decisions if one of the partners becomes incapacitated or critically ill.

For blended families with children, inheritance issues can cause serious family conflicts if a will or estate plan is not in place to carry out your final wishes. For this reason, it's extremely important not only to have a will, but to periodically review beneficiary designations on documents such as family life insurance policies, retirement plans, as well as other financial accounts. Otherwise, those who depend on you the most might find themselves excluded and having to fight for their share of financial security.

Every family situation has its own unique estate planning needs and proper estate planning is critical for everyone. Begin by consulting with a qualified estate planning attorney or law firm that specializes in wills and family estate planning. These types of professional firms understand state and federal laws and are in the ideal position to answer any questions you might have wills and estate planning.

Don't put off proper estate planning another day. Your family is depending on you. For more information on estate planning and creating a will, visit Protective's Learning Center.

1. http://info.legalzoom.com/interested-person-probate-definition-21724.html

Was this article helpful?

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Wills and Trusts

Your estate planning needs are different from that of anyone else. Establishing wills and trusts may be a critical component of your estate planning needs. And if you have a unique family situation, you should know that there might be certain situations where not having an estate plan that includes wills and trusts could make it difficult for you to carry out your final wishes for your loved ones. Don't delay your estate planning another day. For more information, visit our learning center.