No two families are the same. Estate Planning appropriate for one family may not work for another household. This is especially true if your family has some non-traditional elements because the courts may not distribute your estate as you wish. Therefore, in cases where you don’t have the traditional nuclear family, extra estate planning may be needed to ensure your wishes are carried out.

When You Need a Non-Traditional Family Estate Planning Attorney

Here are examples of non-traditional families:

  • You’re a grandparent raising a grandchild through an informal custodial arrangement. Courts may not recognize an informal custody agreement or may not see your grandchild as your next of kin. Even with a will, others may step forward to make a claim. If your child is a minor, you’ll want to also name a guardian so a responsible adult will look out for the best interests of your grandchild.
  • You have adopted children. Adopted children should be treated as next of kin. However, if there are any issues with the paperwork or if anyone contests the will, your children may appreciate having extra levels of support and protection under the law.
  • You are a same-sex couple. Although same-sex marriage is the law of the land today, courts did not recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions for years. If your marriage predates 2015, you may want to use wills, trusts and other legal instruments to ensure your spouse gets their rightful inheritance.
  • You are unmarried but living together. Couples living together… even those who have been together for a long period of time or have children together… do not enjoy the same privileges and rights as married couples. It’s possible a probate court will not recognize cohabiting couples. In almost all cases, such couples require wills as well as other legal instruments to protect each other.
  • Your family includes children from previous marriages or relationships. Children you have adopted as well as stepchildren and other children from previous relationships may not have the same rights as children born in your current marriage. Protect them with trusts, wills and other estate planning options.
  • Finally, some family members require extra assistance. You…
    • need additional estate planning if some family members are disabled or are unable to care for themselves;
    • must ensure there are executors and other supports in place to help your family member if you’re no longer available to take care of them; and
    • lastly, may need a special needs trust as well as other solutions to protect your loved one.

Estate Planning Starts Today

Contact our Non-Traditional Family Estate Planning Lawyers today. We’ll listen to and fully understand the unique details of your family relationships. We’ll gain a full understanding of your assets and how you want them distributed. We develop a comprehensive estate plan based upon this information and our experience. We ensure property distribution reflects your preferences.

Under Pennsylvania law, there are multiple tools available to help you plan your estate. However, navigating the various trusts and other options can be complicated. You don’t want to make a costly mistake, robbing your beneficiaries of their rightful inheritance.

In conclusion, Contact Miller Law Group today for a consultation to discuss your needs. Our law firm is located in Reading, Pennsylvania and we serve Lancaster County, Berks County and surrounding Pennsylvania areas. We have already helped many families through the estate planning and probate process and would be pleased to be a resource for you.