If you are taking the first steps toward estate planning, you might already be thinking about how you want your assets to get distributed after you pass away. However, you may soon discover how confusing it can be to distribute assets if you have a blended family.
It’s not uncommon for families to split and for couples to get divorced and remarry. If you find yourself in a situation where you are remarried and have step-children, you will need to rethink how your estate plan should be structured. To guide you through the process, our team at Marsden Law P.C. has put together estate planning tips for blended families.
Learn more about estate planning for blended families in our firm video here.
#1: Set Up a Trust
If you and your new spouse both have children from previous marriages, it can be difficult to determine how to distribute assets after you pass away. A great way to avoid disinheritance and ensure that your children are protected is by placing some or all of your assets (including property) into a trust. Establishing a trust can allow you to provide for your spouse during your lifetime and document which assets you want to be distributed to your children after you pass away.
#2: Trustee Selections
Another tip is to decide which trustees you would like to oversee your assets in the event that you become incapacitated. Once you pass away, the trustee will be responsible for distributing your assets to your loved ones. The person you consider should be trustworthy and capable of understanding your unique family circumstances.
#3: Living Wills & Powers of Attorney
Another great tip is to include a living will and healthcare power of attorney into your estate plan. A living will document all of your medical wishes if you become incapacitated. This won’t leave your family to decide who should make difficult decisions about your health condition. You can choose who you want to make decisions for you if you are unable to. A durable power of attorney is the person who will handle your financial affairs if you no longer can.
If you need help creating a comprehensive estate plan, contact us today at (800) 828-7854 to schedule a consultation!