The definition of family has certainly broaden over the last 50 years. Back then, most families were comprised of married men and women who had children and who stayed in their marriages until death. In the modern world, though, there is no "normal" family. In fact, only a third of all marriages conform to the traditional definition of married heterosexuals with children. These modern familial units can be comprised of unmarried couples, stepchildren, adopted children, and even children conceived through artificial means. While the world around us has changed considerably over time, estate planning law has not, which means it is on you to ensure that your estate plan is customized to fit your unique situation. Failing to do so could mean that your loved ones may miss out on inheriting the assets you want them to have.
To develop a satisfactory estate plan, it is worth considering a number of questions. To start, you need to think about who you want to inherit your assets. Then, you need to determine how much of your estate you want each of those individuals to obtain after your death. You might then want to consider when you want those beneficiaries to take control of those assets, since you can restrict that through the use of an estate planning vehicle like a trust.
By carefully considering these matters and answering them truthfully, you can start down the road of effective estate planning. For example, if you have a child who has children and is in a non-marital relationship with the child's other parent, you'll probably want to provide for your own child. But what about once that child passes away? Would you want to leave assets to your grandchildren? Probably. But what about the partner of your child? These can be vexing questions that are difficult to answer, but doing so is critical to ensuring that your estate plan conforms to your wishes.
There are countless situations that can arise to present estate planning challenges. As stressful as that may sound, Arizona residents should take comfort knowing that skilled legal professionals stand ready to address these issues. By meeting with one of these professionals, an individual can ensure that his or her vision for the future of his or her estate, as well as the future of his or her loved ones, is brought into reality.