Estate planning can be a complicated topic all on its own. If you have a blended family, this can become an even trickier topic to handle. There are more people involved in your estate planning, and more aspects to consider.
Ultimately, you want to answer as many questions for your family as possible before your death, so it’s easier on them when you pass. What can you do in your estate planning to make things as easy as possible on your blended family?
What are the most important things to consider?
The important thing when estate planning is to leave as little up for debate as possible. With that being said, it is extra important to pay attention to the following areas:
- Legal guardianship of minors – Typically, the other living parent will get full custody of your children if you don’t make other adjustments. If you would like your current partner to have any sort of guardianship over your biological child, you should make that crystal clear.
- Including your stepchildren – If you have stepchildren that you plan to take care of in your estate planning, it’s important to list them as beneficiaries to some of your assets or in your life insurance policies. Otherwise, they might not get anything.
There are also several other things to consider as you’re designating various assets. Does your previous partner have any right to claim things like your house, car, etc.?
What happens if I don’t have an up to date will?
If you fail to update your will to include step-children, new partners or new step-parents, they might be left in the lurch after you pass. Even in blended families that work together, things can get messy. You can reach out to a lawyer to make sure you’ve planned for every detail.