Every blended family is unique. Families with children from more than one relationship are very common, but the default laws in Michigan do not always reflect how parents want to provide for their loved ones after they pass. The parent with two biological children may wish to provide equally for each child, while a parent with one biological child and one stepchild may wish to leave more to the biological child, taking into account the potential inheritance the stepchild might receive from his or her other biological parent. If a child from a first marriage is much older than children later born to a second marriage, the stepchild might have to wait a very long time to receive an inheritance after the death of his or her biological parent. A carefully designed estate plan, based on open communication, is crucial for blended families. When working with blended families, we:
Revisit documents from previous relationships, including wills, divorce settlements, and support agreements
Review banking, investment, and retirement accounts to update beneficiary designations
Help facilitate open, thoughtful discussion about the whole family’s needs and expectations
Create an estate plan customized for your unique family
Partnering with Parents to Protect Children
If you have minor children, an estate plan is essential to ensure that they will be cared for if something should happen to you. As parents ourselves, we understand the importance of thoughtful planning when it comes to your children. A good estate plan for families with minor children should include:
Nominations for both permanent and emergency guardians
Medical Power of Attorney for the Care of Minor Children
Revocable Living Trust to provide for the care of minor children
Communication of your values to the guardians and your children
The summer before a child goes off to college is an emotional one for parents, especially when it is their first kid to leave the nest. As your child reaches the age of eighteen and steps out into the world as a legal adult, you will simultaneously be stepping out of your role as legal guardian. Accident, illness, or injury can affect anyone. If something were to happen to your young adult that rendered them unable to make decisions for themselves, your ability to care for your child could be delayed while you are forced to go to court to get yourself appointed as guardian. Without documentation to establish your legal authority, decision-making could be left to the doctor or other medical professional. If your young adult child wants to designate a different advocate later in life (for example, if they get married), these documents can easily be destroyed and replaced with new ones. To protect your young adult as he or she goes out into the world, our College Care Plan includes:
Legacy Counsel offers three levels of estate planning services: The Family Legacy Plan, the Trust Legacy Plan, and the Wealth Legacy Plan. You pick the price you pay by deciding the level of planning that best fits your family’s needs. No matter which plan you choose, the legal documents comprising that plan will be completely customized to fit the needs of your unique family. All of our estate planning services are provided for a flat fee, so that there are never any billing surprises.
Our exclusive membership program is designed for those who want to have an attorney on call at all times for their family’s security and guidance. Our Legacy Membership Program treats your estate plan as a living document; it should adapt with you as your family and wealth grows. By joining the Legacy Membership Program, you and your family will always know where to turn with legal questions, changes, and any problems that arise.