No two families are the same. Some families may appear "traditional," with two spouses remaining married for the long-term and raising children, while others are "untraditional." These latter families can involve step-parents and step-children, unmarried couples, families with adopted children and even children conceived through artificial means. Regardless of the dynamics of a family, estate planning is crucial.
Yet, those who have a complex family structure may need to give their estate plan more care. Failing to address what may seem like minor details may lead to loved ones missing out on intended inheritances. For example, a step-parent may need to be abundantly clear in their will and trust documents whether they are leaving assets to their step-children. The law otherwise doesn't necessarily allow for those children to inherit from a step-parent.
There may be other interesting situations that California residents find themselves facing. A grandparent may want to plan to leave assets to a grown child so that he or she can provide for grandchildren. But, what happens if that adult child passes away leaving the grandchildren that were conceived with an unmarried partner? If the assets were only left to that adult child, then the children's other parent would receive nothing. In this situation, then, it might be beneficial to consider whether some assets should be left to the unmarried partner so that he or she can better care for the grandchildren.
Estate planning can be complex depending on the circumstances at hand, and there can be a lot at stake. The financial well-being of loved ones and the viability of an estate may be jeopardized by poor estate planning. This is why California residents may want to get more information about estate planning options.