Monday, August 8, 2016

Blended Families Face Unique Issues for Estate Planning

Most of life’s milestones require planning in order to get the most benefit from them. Estate planning is no different. This goes for traditional families as well as for blended families, which are growing in number.

If you are about to become the head of a blended, or step-family, then pay attention to some of the decisions which need to be made when planning the distribution of your assets.

1.      Keep your documents up to date. A new marriage could invalidate a previous will, so check and make sure. Whether you are about to enter a step-family or not, it is always a good idea to have your will updated whenever something new is added to the mix. If not, you could end up leaving your assets to your ex, even if you would rather not.

2.      Who will be the executor of you will? It can be anyone you trust with the job, including spouse, children, or children from a previous marriage. It can even be a friend or colleague. Don’t forget to pick a third-party mediator, like an accountant or lawyer, which can help avoid confusion and awkwardness.

3.      You can create a trust which will help to pass on your assets to children of a previous marriage, while still allowing you to provide for your present spouse. The trust can help insure the correct division of assets.

4.      Life insurance can help those inheriting from you, creating an additional source of funds. You can designate your new children from a more recent marriage as beneficiaries of the insurance, while the rest of your estate can go to your older children from a past marriage.

5.      Even though it might seem awkward, singing a marriage contract can keep things clear and straightforward.

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