Daily Law Group
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Modern families require new strategies for wealth management

According to census data, the American family has changed. Fewer are comprised of the traditional nuclear family of two heterosexual parents and a couple of children.

Today, step children, same-sex couples, adopted children, spouses with different countries of origin and more are all part of the mix of what a family might be.

Rethinking wealth transfer and financial planning

The shifting dynamics of society call for new ways of handling estates. The family structure could be complicated by step-families or even the untimely deaths of beneficiaries. Injuries or disabilities which arise by accident or age can also be a factor.

In addition, a growing number of individuals are choosing not to marry. Single or childless individuals also have unique needs for dealing with their wealth.

Good communication is key

Given that families can include so many diverse relationships, it will be important to obtain input from more than just a few family members.

For example, in blended families with an ex-spouse and children as well as current spouse, the wishes of the former spouse may need to be considered. This is especially true if you own joint assets or need to plan for the care and well-being of the children.

With couples who married internationally, the laws and customs of another country may need to be addressed.

Trustees and estate plan development

Experts say only about 26 percent of high net-worth individuals have a comprehensive wealth transfer strategy. Leaving your estate to chance could be a costly mistake.

It is important to start educating children early on about finances and budgeting. Involve young family members in charitable giving decisions. Incorporate children in the positive aspects of wealth management and family stewardship.

Given the complexities of some family structures, working with a neutral party that can act as a trustee and assist with planning will be a good idea. They will know the legal and tax structures which are available. They can manage trusts and investment portfolios.

In addition, obtaining the advice of an attorney will ensure your legacy and your wealth are properly managed.

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