Estate Planning becomes more complicated when you have a blended family. This gives you all the more reason to get it done and not procrastinate. If you want to set forth who will inherit your assets and under what terms, it’s important to get your planning done now – despite how hard it may be to discuss with the family members involved.
Communicating with Your Spouse
Communication is critical when going through the estate planning process. You must talk with your spouse and express your wishes and concerns. If you and your spouse have different views as to what should happen when you pass, it’s best to work details out well in advance.
Go through these steps to make things easier:
- Decide how your assets will be divided – You may choose to combine your assets or plan for them separately. Will all your children be treated equally? Or would you like to provide for your own children separately? Will the money go directly to your children, or will you leave something for the surviving spouse?
- Develop a plan – To achieve your end of life planning goals, it’s best to meet with an estate planning attorney who can legally document your wishes. This will save your family a lot of strife once you have passed. Each family is different, and will need a custom plan.
- Be Honest with the attorney – If you don’t give us all the details we can’t fully help
Communicating with Your Children
Communicating with your children is critical, even if it’s difficult. It’s better to discuss your intentions while you are healthy, rather than have them learn from someone else, or worse, from the probate court.
Prior Legal Documents
When creating an estate plan for a blended family, it’s important to go over prior estate planning documents and beneficiary designations. If you or your spouse were previously married, you will want to make sure that no assets are being left to an ex-spouse.
Estate planning for a blended family can present some unique issues, but it is important to get it done. Planning now can be a can give you and your family peace of mind and time to discuss.