Blended families can sometimes pose unique challenges to the estate planning process. For instance, if one parent dies or becomes incapacitated, there can arise tension or disagreement between the surviving spouse and the children, leaving some of these parties to feel like they’ve been excluded.
These issues can be minimized through smart planning; here are a few key approaches to estate planning for blended families.
Guidelines for Estate Planning with Blended Families
- Set up a trust. Place assets that your spouse can use in his or her lifetime, but ensure that what’s left in the trust goes to the combined children of the family—your kids, your spouse’s kids, the kids you have together.
- Also consider life insurance. What happens in many blended families is that the will leaves all assets to the spouse, but life insurance pays out to the children—ensuring that everyone is properly taken care of. Retirement accounts, such as IRAs, can work in the same way. These will be passed down to the beneficiary you name.
- Ensure that you make all the right healthcare decisions, too. Living wills and powers of attorney are especially useful for clarifying your wishes in moments of crisis. Choose people who are level-headed to make your medical decisions—and, people who are good at getting along with the rest of the family.
Don’t Neglect Estate Planning
It’s vital to do estate planning, and to be clear in your wishes—minimizing conflict or confusion among the members of your blended family. With the right forethought, you can minimize some of the challenges that blended families so often face.
For assistance developing a comprehensive estate plan, or simply for assembling any of the provisions we have listed here, reach out to the attorneys at the Singh Law Firm today.
Learn more about estate planning from Singh Law Firm.