Estate Planning

for Non-Traditional Families

Although many legal advances have been made in recent years, nontraditional families are still not afforded all of the same legal rights and benefits afforded to traditional married couples in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S. This matters a great deal because more and more couples are deciding to live in unmarried households, leading to complications when it comes to estate planning.

Everyone deserves to know that their families and their loved ones will be protected in the future. We can help with:

  • Transferring ownership of a family home.

  • Leaving the management of an estate in the capable hands of a trusted partner.

  • Designating the beneficiaries on a life insurance policy.

  • Ensuring the safe custody of minor children.

  • Avoiding estate disputes among surviving family members and loved ones.

  • Guaranteeing that medical decisions are carried out in accordance with your wishes.

  • Making sure that your burial instructions are followed after your death.

Gay Family

Regardless of the nature of your family, you should not have to worry about what will happen to your spouse, partner, children or other loved ones after you are gone.

The best way to ensure that they are taken care of, and that you are in full compliance with NJ or PA estate planning laws, is to have a knowledgeable attorney help you set up a comprehensive estate plan.

The compassionate, experienced New Jersey estate planning attorneys at Posternock Apell, PC can help you craft an effective estate plan that protects your interests and the interests of your loved ones. Contact us today to arrange a face-to-face or virtual consultation. We have offices in Browns Mills and Moorestown, New Jersey, as well as Philadelphia, PA.

Protect your family: prepare a comprehensive estate plan that includes a will.

“Intestacy” is the legal term for dying without a will. When someone passes away without a will, they have “died intestate.” Traditional married couples, with or without children, are afforded a bare minimum amount of protection by intestacy laws. Although NJ and PA have intestate succession laws that determine where your assets go in the event that you die without a will, there are still limitations on the scope of protection offered under the law.

For example, certain assets are not affected by intestacy laws because these assets would not ordinarily be passed on to your loved ones through a will. These potentially unprotected assets include life insurance policies, retirement accounts and co-owned properties. A probate court may have to determine who receives these assets, which is why you need to take steps now to ensure that all of your assets end up with the right people.

Moreover, even if you are married, the portion of your estate that your spouse receives could be reduced because New Jersey and Pennsylvania intestacy laws dictate that parents, children or other descendants may be entitled to a certain percentage of your assets in the absence of a will. Beyond that, if you pass away without writing a will, it’s possible that the state could end up claiming part, or even all, of your estate.

At Posternock Apell, PC, we are fully prepared to assist you with preparation of your estate planning documents. In fact, our skilled estate planning lawyers have decades of combined experience helping members of nontraditional families navigate the complicated tax laws in NJ and PA and set up comprehensive estate plans that account for their unique familial circumstances.

Our estate planning lawyers protect estates of all sizes.

No matter how wealthy you are, it is important for you to take the necessary steps to ensure that it is handled with care after you are gone. Whether your estate includes a home or other real estate, a car or motorcycle, bank accounts, stock options, life insurance or any other holdings, you worked hard to acquire your assets and secure your financial position over the course of your life and you have every right to expect that your assets will be protected in the years ahead.

Keep in mind that preparing a comprehensive estate plan can be extremely complicated, regardless of the circumstances. The rules for non-traditional families are vastly more complicated, which is why it is important for anyone in a nontraditional family to speak with a qualified estate planning attorney.

Whether you are part of a same-sex couple, an unmarried couple, a couple with children from a previous marriage, a couple raising a grandchild or any other kind of nontraditional family, it is imperative that you take steps to safeguard your assets and make sure that your loved ones are left in a good position after you are gone. A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can help you explore all of your available legal options and determine the best course of action for you and your loved ones.

Planning an estate is often perceived as simple or straightforward when in reality it requires truly thorough, tailored legal representation. Estate plans can be powerful tools for handling lifetime assets when used correctly — for example, a strategically-sound estate plan may involve the creation of irrevocable trusts to avoid the imposition of significant estate taxes at the time of death.

It’s important that you work with a team of attorneys who understand the need for developing an “airtight” estate plan. A poorly-written plan cannot only expose your estate assets to excessive tax consequences but can lead to unnecessary delays in the probate court. It may even give rise to an actionable dispute. These issues can cause a financial burden for those beneficiaries who are waiting to receive assets.

We can help.

Here at Posternock Apell, PC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling a wide range of transactions and disputes for clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including estate planning matters that involve significant taxable assets. We are committed to the provision of client-driven service, and as such, we invest the time and resources necessary to understand a client’s estate assets, goals, limitations, and concerns.

Ready to move forward? Call 856-861-3474 or send us a message online to schedule a meeting with a skilled estate lawyer at our firm today.

Father and Son Baking

Contact us today for a consultation with our experienced estates and trusts team. 

Happy Elderly Couple.

Estates & Trusts

Happy Elderly Couple.

Our lawyers know the importance of protecting your assets and planning for the future through sound estate planning. We can help with wills, trusts, and more.