There’s something innately joyful about second chances—including second chances at marriage. Getting remarried can bring its share of challenges, though, especially when it comes to estate planning for your “blended family.”
The two spouses may bring different assets, different liabilities, and different philosophies about the kind of legacy they wish to leave behind. The question is, how can you harmonize these differences and ensure that your blended family has a strong estate plan in place?
Three Steps for Effective Estate Planning in a Blended Family
There are really three main considerations here:
- Start with communication. The first thing you should do is initiate a family conversation. Even before meeting with an estate planning lawyer, talk with your spouse about the goals you have. Bring clarity to your estate planning mindset. Make sure to talk about financial obligations, long-term goals, and questions of guardianship for any young children.
- Put a plan in place. With your goals laid out, talk through the things that are yours, the things that belong to your spouse, and the things that belong to both of you. This means thinking about the assets you both brought into the marriage, but also your age and any marital property laws in your state.
- Meet with an estate planning attorney. Finally, make sure you meet with a lawyer who can help you spell out your wishes through wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other legal documents. Some specific steps to discuss with your lawyer: Updating beneficiaries, considering prenup agreements, and ensuring you have the right documents to fulfill your estate planning wishes.
Things can get a little complicated when there are existing estate plans from previous marriages—but that’s all the more reason to make sure you’re working with a professional. Reach out to Singh Law Firm today and ask how our lawyers can guide you through the estate planning process, even with a remarriage or blended family in mind.