Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Estate Planning for Modern Families No "Leave-It-To-Beaver" Task

“We don’t all look like the conventional nuclear family once famously depicted in ‘Leave It To Beaver’, a Raymond James’ Point of View article observes, pointing out factors such as:
  • the legalization of same-sex marriage
  • an increase in the number of non-married couples
  • advances in reproductive technology
  • the steady divorce rate, including “gray divorces”
  • the increase in blended families
This list illustrates just how complex modern estate planning has become.  Raymond James’ advice: “Rather than set something in stone, think of your estate plan as a living document that should evolve as your life does.”

At Geyer Law, we couldn’t agree more.  As we talk with clients, we find the discussions expanding to cover a variety of situations and topics:

Step parent adoption
If biological parents become incapacitated or die, step parent adoption can be a saving factor.  The consent of both biological parents is needed; a child over 14 must also consent.

Modification of parenting plans after a divorce
Even if both ex-spouses agree on changes to the order, those changes are not official until the court agrees.

Same-sex marriages
Although same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States, not  all states have updated their laws to reflect this change., There is a potential for legal issues when laws have not been updated, and non-married couples must still create documents to protect their partners’ rights.

Advance directives
With rapidly developing medical technology, elder health law is evolving.  One relatively new development, for example, is the opportunity to include an “override option” in healthcare documents.

Guardianships
In personal injury cases of coma, brain injury, or severe trauma, a guardianship might need to be created to provide care for an incapacitated adult.

No, we don’t all look like “Leave-It-To-Beaver” families, and our clients don’t need cookie-cutter estate plans.  At Geyer Law, we see ourselves as a resource for clients, combining clear, concise – and situation-differentiated – legal solutions.
- by  Scott Watanabe of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates

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