Family dynamics are constantly changing and with our families expanding, it’s important to understand what blended families should know about estate planning. A blended family is a family formed by marriage or partnership that brings children from previous relationships. While estate planning for blended families may seem more complicated, it’s still important to cover all your bases. With a blended family there are more people to consider and possibly some situations you want to avoid. Having a solid plan in place will bring you peace and help your loved ones avoid uncomfortable situations down the road.
What Blended Families Should Know About Estate Planning
Before your new marriage, it’s important to discuss your goals with your partner. Discuss your wishes for your children, your financial goals, your personal goals, and make sure you’re on the same page before making things official. This can be a daunting conversation, but ultimately it’s one that can help you both grow within your relationship and work together towards the living the version of life you both dream of.
When a new union is formed, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to updating your estate plan or creating a plan for your new family. A lot of times in a marriage, assets will be left to the surviving spouse. In a blended family though, there need to be considerations for children and how they will be cared for if something were to happen to their parent. While we can only hope that the surviving spouse would care for their partner’s children, sometimes family dynamics don’t always play out that way. If you are entering a new marriage and you have kids from a previous relationship, ensure you have an estate plan that financially cares for your children. Setting up a trust is the best way to designate what you want to leave for your children. If you don’t, you are potentially disinheriting your kids. Your new spouse may have control over all your assets and potentially leave your children with nothing. There are even more considerations for minor children. If your children are still minors, ensure that you have a plan with their other parent. While the children would remain with their surviving parent, naming guardians for your minor children is key if something were to happen to both parents.
Consulting with a professional is always the best idea when it comes to creating your updating your estate plan. When you enter a new marriage, make sure you’re updating your plan with a professional in your area. If you’re in Illinois or Wisconsin, contact us and let us know how we can help.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.