The idea of the traditional household consisting of two married parents living with children is not necessarily reality for most people in Tennessee. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 19% of American households actually resemble this type of family structure. Much of estate planning law still relies on the so-called traditional family, though, which means that most people need to take a more creative approach to the process.
When estate planning, it is sometimes necessary to be purposeful when specifying who is family. A stepchild or stepgrandchild might be unintentionally left out because vague language did not clarify that he or she was supposed to be included. If current estate planning documents are not clear, it is a good idea to make changes as soon as possible.
Sometimes there are more complex issues that more modern families need to address, too. For example, a woman might want to ensure that both her second husband as well as her children from her first marriage are taken care of following her death. While it can seem difficult — if not impossible — to balance these two goals, most people can utilize trusts to find unique solutions.
Regardless of how much money one might have or who is or is not considered family, estate planning offers an opportunity to address one’s needs and concerns. Wills, trusts and powers of attorney are just a few of the documents that can help. Making sure that things are right can make things easier for loved ones in the future too, which is why some Tennessee residents choose to speak with an attorney about how to approach their own estates.