If you have married someone who had children from a previous relationship, these are your step-children. Even if you have helped raised the child from a very young age, unless you have legally adopted the child, he will not be considered your child for inheritance purposes. This can have significant implications for your family.

For example, when Harry and Sally got married, Sally had a child John from a previous relationship. Harry helped to raise John from a young age, but he could not adopt him, because John’s father did not want to give up his parental rights.

Continue Reading Planning for Step-Children

As families continue to change and evolve, so do estate planning policies. In 2019, when we discuss estate planning, we must account for a broader definition of family than ever before. Here are several issues to look out for when planning for the future.


Marriage: The first issue concerns marriage; specifically, who is a Spouse and whether or not a person is legally married.  Legal  marriage is usually determined in accordance with  state law.

Continue Reading Estate Planning for 21st Century Families: A Primer