Estate Planning Advice for Blended Families

Estate Planning When You Have a Blended Family

Let’s talk about a situation that’s increasingly common in the United States: you get married and have children, but things end up not working out. You get divorced, find someone new, and get married to them. They also happen to have several children. Now you have a spouse, an ex-spouse, two children, and several step-children. Eventually, those children might marry and have kids of their own. Now you have more in-laws and grandchildren.

Having a big family is great! But it can be a huge headache for estate planning. Unless you have the help of an estate attorney. Today in the Davidson Law Group blog, we’ll talk about estate planning for blended families.

First Steps

Talking about estates and estate planning is never the most fun thing to do, but it’s necessary and you’ll be glad you did it. Having an open and honest conversation with your current spouse is important. Obviously, you’ll have preferences as to where your assets end up.

Typically each person wants to make sure their biological children are protected in the case of their death. These conversations can be difficult, but they need to happen. Having an estate planning attorney guiding you through this process can be extremely helpful.

Related Post: Planning for Minor Children

Considerations

Typically, a married couple will leave all of their assets to their surviving spouse. The surviving spouse will most likely leave everything to the children when they also pass. In second marriages, leaving everything to the surviving spouse becomes a little less common. The reason for this is that the surviving spouse can choose to leave people out of their will, meaning your assets may not end up with your desired beneficiaries when the surviving spouse passes. So what do you do instead?

The recommended path to take is either a trust or beneficiary form. If you establish a trust, you can include amendments that protect your children’s interests. For instance, you can set it up so the surviving spouse receives half of your assets and the children receive the other half.

Beneficiary forms also work because you can designate specific beneficiaries for specific assets. Just remember that you shouldn’t put a minor as a beneficiary. They don’t have the legal ability to control assets. Your estate planning attorney can help you with all these details and considerations.

Related Post: What If My Beneficiary Is Under the Age of 18?

Estate Planning with Davidson Law Group

If you need help with your estate planning, choose Davidson Law Group. Estate planning on your own can be complicated, but an estate lawyer makes it easy. Contact us today in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you.