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Estate planning, sitcom style

9/23/2016 | Kaplin Stewart Blog

When it comes to celebrities making plans for their estates, many of the examples provided revolve around what not to do. However, a recently published article takes an unusual approach to the topic of celebrity estate planning. The piece focuses on the fictional families featured in the hit television series “Modern Family.” That show is a great catalyst for discussion on the matter, as there are several different family types featured in the storyline, just as there different types of families in Pennsylvania.

The Dunphy family is a blend of many different types of relationships. The patriarch of the family is married to a much younger woman who has a child from a previous relationship. He also has two adult children from a previous marriage. In their example, estate planning would revolve around providing wealth for both his current wife as well as as his children and grandchildren. It would also be important to include his stepson into the mix.

One of the adult children has a traditional marriage with biological children. For them, estate planning might focus on outlining the care needs of the parents while also providing for an inheritance for the children. The other adult child is in a committed same-sex union. For those characters, estate planning can be a bit more complex. A priority would be ensuring that the wishes of both parties were clearly outlined in regard to both long-term care planning as well as inheritance matters.

Many Pennsylvania residents enjoy the show “Modern Family,” which takes a humorous look at the realities of today’s shifting family dynamics. However, the show also serves as a primer for the various estate planning options that many families should consider. An expansive family is a wonderful thing, but large families often require more complex estate planning solutions.

Source:, “Estate Planning for the ???Modern Family???“, David T. Dufault, Sept. 9, 2016