Not all families look the same in Florida. Some are more traditional while others are non-traditional with a single parent, blended family or same sex parents. No matter how a family looks like, estate planning is important just the same; as it designates one wishes and help protect one’s legacy. Thus, it is important to understand how to best navigate the process to ensure it encompasses all of one’s needs and wishes.
Non-traditional families and protections
While there are concerns that the Supreme Court could impact the future protections for non-traditional families, the reality is that these possible decisions will not prevent them from taking estate-planning measures to provide protections.
Whether one is part of a same sex couple, blended family with stepchildren, cohabitating with a partner, a single parent or involved in any other type of non-traditional situation, it is important to draft one’s estate plan for flexibility.
Flexible estate plan
A flexible estate plan means drafting one’s will, trust and other documents so that their wishes will be followed. In order to do this, certain topics should be addressed in the drafting process. To begin, it should be drafted to avoid gender specific pronouns. Ideally, one should use an individual’s name versus a pronoun. With regards to the powers of appointment, this should be broadened to include anyone other than creditors, the estate, themselves or creditors of the estate.
Other topics that are important to consider include trust decanting, plans to deal with future marriages, divorces and non-marital relationships, prenuptial agreements, joint estate planning during marriage, beneficiary designation, cohabitation and advanced medical directives. By addressing these and other topics in the estate planning process, one should be able to feel more comfortable with their estate plan being executed according to their wishes.
Moving forward with the estate planning process can seem daunting and complex; however, it is a process designed to help each and every person whether they are single, part of a traditional family or are in a non-traditional family. In order to ensure the process is completed properly and is up-to-date, it is vital to explore one’s legal rights and what steps are necessary to generate or modify a valid and enforceable estate plan.