Building Family Legacy… Your Way
Not everyone walks the same path in life. Whether you are single or partnered, have children or are child-free, there is a right estate plan for everyone. Everyone, regardless of the path they choose in life, will leave a legacy behind. With all the work that you put into building a life for yourself and your loved ones, the best thing you can do is plan for the future and what happens after you’re gone.
For every chapter of life, your plan should adapt to your needs. We help individuals and families through every step of the way with custom plans based on your situation. You won’t find basic cookie cutter documents here. We get to know you and learn your goals and what’s important to you about building your family legacy.
All Your Stages of Life
Married with Children
When you move from the single life to married life, there are many things to consider when planning your estate. Many think that if they are married then their assets are automatically left to their spouse. While that is potentially true depending on the state you live in and your situation, there are still many reasons to have a proper estate plan that both you and your spouse are apprised of. If you have children as well, you not only plan for their financial future but also planning for the unexpected. Who would take care of your kids if something happens to you and your spouse? Naming guardians for your kids is typically overlooked as many assume that kids are automatically taken in by a family member, like an aunt or uncle, but that is not always true. This especially isn’t true depending on where you live and what laws are in place. Without an estate plan to dictate who is now responsible for your children, this decision is given to the legal system. Meaning that a judge may get to make the decision of where your children go. The courts will typically appoint a close family member or friend to take care of the kids, but this can be avoided by simply naming a guardian and avoiding the court process. The main reason to avoid the court process is that, aside from potential costs, your kids may be placed in care outside of your family until the case is concluded. At this point your kids are already in a traumatic situation, make sure they are cared for by someone they know and who will protect them. We will guide you through the process of choosing guardians and leaving your wishes for how you want your children to be raised in case of emergency.
We are seeing more and more families with unique situations that need special considerations in their estate plans. If you have had multiple marriages and children from different marriages or partnerships, a basic estate plan may not cover your wishes when the time comes. With your changing family dynamics, if you don’t have a proper estate plan, you run the risk of your assets going to an ex-spouse or even a current spouse’s children versus your biological children. There are endless scenarios that your family may find themselves in as relationships become more complex and more family members are involved. Make sure your assets are going to whom you want them to go and that the right person would be in charge of your medical decisions in case of an accident. We can help with complicated situations and make sure your legacy is being left how you want it.
Not all adults walk the same path in life and more and more of the growing generations are choosing to not have children and instead committing to a child-free lifestyle. Deciding not to have children may come with a sense that with no heirs to leave your wealth after your death, that you don’t need to have a plan for what happens to your estate, but estate planning for child-free couples is even more important as you don’t have obvious heirs to your wealth. While your wealth may not be left to your own children, you may have family members, friends, or charitable organizations that you may want to leave your assets to. Not having a proper estate plan means that your estate will be dragged through the probate process and it may be even harder for potential beneficiaries to prove they should acquire your assets since they are not direct heirs.
Whatever stage of life you are in, we can help you with building your family legacy. Contact us today to get started.