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Estate planning in nontraditional families

Nontraditional family structures, such as blended families, are on the rise, and these families need estate planning just like everyone else does. However, estate planning advice is often written for more traditional families, even though these types of families are increasingly in the minority. People in Nevada whose families do not fit the traditional model may need to keep additional considerations in mind when creating an estate plan.

For example, people may unwittingly cut adopted children or stepchildren out of their estate plan. One or both members of an unmarried couple may not realize that they could be vulnerable on the death or disability of the partner. These are only a few of the issues that could arise. People should also consider how well their families communicate. They should think about whether they would benefit from discussing estate planning as a group, having small group meetings or even bringing in a family psychologist.

A trust may be useful in complex family situations. In some cases, giving an institutional trustee the power to make distributions instead of specifying how distributions will be made in the trust itself is the right solution. Some people may want to appoint a trust protector who can remove the trustee if necessary. The power might be given to one person to add additional beneficiaries.

These types of provisions can help ensure that legal remedies are available if elements of the estate plan could be legally interpreted as different from a person's intentions. An attorney may be able to help a person decide what approaches are best based on their situation. Some people may only want to discuss trust planning with one or two family members. These considerations are important not just for determining who will get assets but also in creating powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.

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