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How to Navigate the Estate Planning Process as a Non-Traditional Family

Navigating the estate planning process can be challenging for anyone, but for non-traditional families, there can be additional complexities. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various aspects of estate planning that are particularly relevant to non-traditional families, and provide valuable insights on how to create a solid plan that addresses your unique needs.

Heritage Law Office: Your Experienced Estate Planning Partner

At Heritage Law Office, our experienced estate planning attorneys understand the intricacies of planning for non-traditional families. Whether you need assistance with wills, trusts, or other estate planning tools, we're here to help. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.

Understanding Non-Traditional Families and Their Unique Estate Planning Needs

Non-traditional families come in many forms, such as unmarried couples, blended families, single-parent households, and LGBTQ+ families. Each family structure has unique estate planning considerations that must be addressed to ensure that their assets are protected and distributed according to their wishes.

Unmarried Couples

For unmarried couples, it's crucial to establish legal documents that clearly outline their wishes, as they may not be granted the same legal rights as married couples. This can include designating each other as beneficiaries in wills, establishing powers of attorney, and creating trusts to ensure a smooth asset transfer.

Blended Families

Blended families, where one or both partners have children from previous relationships, may face challenges in estate planning due to the potential for conflict between the various family members. Clear communication and thorough planning, including the use of trusts, can help to avoid disputes and ensure all parties are treated fairly.

Single-Parent Households

Single parents need to plan carefully to ensure their children's needs are met in the event of their passing. This can include naming a guardian for minor children, creating trusts to manage assets on the children's behalf, and establishing life insurance policies to provide financial support.

LGBTQ+ Families

LGBTQ+ families may face unique legal challenges, particularly if they live in states with less progressive laws. It's essential to work with an attorney experienced in LGBTQ+ estate planning to navigate these complexities and establish a solid plan.

Essential Estate Planning Tools for Non-Traditional Families

There are several estate planning tools that can be particularly beneficial for non-traditional families. Some of these include:


A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets upon your death. For non-traditional families, it's essential to have a clear and up-to-date will to ensure that your loved ones are provided for according to your wishes.


Trusts can be a valuable tool for non-traditional families, as they offer greater control over asset distribution and can help to avoid probate. There are various types of trusts available, such as revocable living trusts, which can be altered during your lifetime, and irrevocable trusts, which offer greater asset protection but cannot be changed once established.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants a trusted individual the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Non-traditional families should consider establishing both financial and healthcare powers of attorney to ensure their wishes are respected in times of crisis.

Beneficiary Designations

Non-traditional families should review and update their beneficiary designations for assets such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and investment accounts. This ensures that these assets will be distributed according to your wishes without going through probate.

Contact Heritage Law Office for Expert Estate Planning Services

Navigating the estate planning process can be complex for non-traditional families, but the experienced attorneys at Heritage Law Office are here to help. Our knowledgeable team understands the unique needs of non-traditional families and can provide customized guidance on the best estate planning tools for your situation. To discuss your estate planning needs, contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation. We also offer remote, phone, and online appointments, ensuring you can receive our services wherever you are.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a Non-Traditional Family?

A non-traditional family refers to families that don't conform to the standard nuclear family structure, which traditionally consists of a mother, a father, and their children. Non-traditional families include unmarried couples, blended families, single-parent households, and LGBTQ+ families, among others.

2. Why is Estate Planning important for Non-Traditional Families

 Estate planning is vital for non-traditional families as it helps ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Non-traditional families often face unique legal challenges and may not be granted the same legal rights as traditional families. Having a solid estate plan in place can help navigate these challenges and protect their assets.

3. What estate planning tools are beneficial for Non-Traditional Families?

Non-traditional families can benefit from a variety of estate planning tools. This includes Wills to outline the distribution of assets, Trusts for greater control over asset distribution, Power of Attorney to grant authority to a trusted individual in times of incapacity, and Beneficiary Designations for assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts.

4. What are some of the unique estate planning challenges for different types of Non-Traditional Families?

Different types of non-traditional families face unique challenges. Unmarried couples may not have the same legal rights as married ones. Blended families might have potential conflicts between various family members. Single-parent households need to ensure the future care and financial support of their children. LGBTQ+ families may face legal challenges if they reside in less progressive states.

5. How can Heritage Law Office help Non-Traditional Families with Estate Planning?

At Heritage Law Office, our experienced attorneys understand the unique estate planning needs of non-traditional families. We provide customized guidance on the best estate planning tools for your unique situation. Whether it's assistance with wills, trusts, or other tools, we're here to help. You can contact us online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.