Blended families are becoming more and more common, but estate planning for them can get complicated. If you’re in a blended family, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan.
Failing to update your beneficiary designations can be disastrous
If you have remarried and had children from your previous marriage, it’s important to make sure that your new spouse and children are included as beneficiaries on your accounts. Otherwise, your assets could end up going to your ex-spouse or stepchildren instead of your current family. Make sure you update your beneficiary designations on all of your accounts, including your life insurance policy, retirement accounts and bank accounts.
You need to have a will
If you don’t have a will, your assets may get distributed according to state law, which may not be how you want them to get divided. If you have minor children, it’s especially important to have this estate planning document so that you can appoint a guardian for them in the event of your death.
You may need a trust
If you have a large estate or complex family dynamics, you may need to set up a trust in order to ensure that your assets are distributed the way you want them to be. Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as avoiding probate, protecting assets from creditors, and ensuring that minor children inherit your assets.
You need to communicate with your family
It’s important to have open communication with your family about your estate plan. If you have a will, you may want to make sure that your spouse and children know where it is and what it contains. If you have set up a trust, make sure that your trustee knows your wishes and is able to carry out your instructions.
If you’re in a blended family, estate planning can be a bit more complicated than if you’re in a traditional family. However, it’s still important to have an estate plan that meets your unique needs – with a little bit of thought and planning.