6 Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families
Blended families bring so much joy to your life, but can be complicated when it comes to estate planning. Here are 6 estate planning tips for blended families.
Estate planning is the main way that people make sure that the things that they have spent their entire lives building are managed the way that they want them to be after their passing. Obviously, managing the legacy that someone leaves behind is extremely valuable. Of course, certain aspects of estate planning are more complicated than others. In particular, many people could benefit a lot from working with an estate planning attorney, specially if they have a blended family. This article talks about estate planning tips for blended families.
Estate planning doesn't have to be a complicated process. The complexity do increase if you have a blended family. Having no estate planning though can really make the process a decent mess.
So what exactly do you need to do to adjust your estate planning for a blended family? Read on to learn all about the most important things to focus on when it comes to planning how your estate will be managed for your blended family!
1. Planning a Will Gets More Complicated
Many people imagine that they can get away with simply leaving a last will and testament behind to manage their legacy. Even in normal cases, this is far from a safe strategy. The more complicated an estate is, the more likely a simple will is to fail to fully respect the wishes of the deceased.
A blended family is a very complicated situation from a legal perspective. That makes using legal tools beyond a simple will practically a necessity.
Among other things, it is possible for the inheritor of your estate to cut your biological heirs out of inheritance unless you carefully make sure that is not possible.
Many people treat this kind of estate management a little bit like prenuptial agreements. It seems extremely untrusting to some people to set up legal precautions against these kinds of eventualities.
However, there is a reason that agreements like this have become common practice. Families have learned through long and difficult experience how badly things can go when people neglect to nail down what is going to happen with their legacy and estate after they are gone. Even if it seems impossible to you that that might happen, consider the timelines at play.
The people that someone leaves behind will potentially live for decades after their passing. In that time period, they could marry new people, change religions, develop disagreements with family members, and so on.
2. Consider Setting up Living Trusts as Part of Your Estate Planning
One simple way to maintain a lot of control over your estate is to set up living trusts. Among other things, a trust can allow you to leave certain designated assets to your spouse. On top of that, it can provide your spouse with a certain income for the duration of their life.
You can then combine that with a second trust that leaves the rest of your estate to your biological children. Of course, this is only one option. However, the careful design of a proper estate planning strategy can provide you with a lot more control over your estate.
A Trust can also be set up as revocable, and them turn into irrevocable after your passing to make sure no changes are made against your will. Talking to a trust attorney can help you design the correct estate planning for your fammily.
3. Find a Trustee With Experience With Blended Families
No matter how good your legal documents are, you will need an equally good trustee. Otherwise, the wishes spelled out in those documents may not be executed in the real world.
However, it is important to use a trustee who understands how to manage the unique complications that come along with blended families. It is also important to find someone who can fairly work through any disagreements between your biological and non-biological family.
Our estate planning attorneys a lot of times recommend using a professional trustee instead of a family member. That minimize the issues with families fighting.
4. Apply Estate Planning Tips for the Possibility of Remarriage
Keep in mind that the surviving spouse in a marriage can always remarry later on. Make sure that the design of your trusts and will takes this situation into account. If you want your property to be handled differently on the basis of remarriage, it is important to specify that clearly.
5. Simplify Some of Your Inheritance Timelines
Airtight legal situations often start to develop leaks over time. If you really want to make sure that certain aspects of your estate planning are executed the way that you desire, you might want to consider adjusting your timelines.
For one thing, you can designate your biological heirs to receive certain property immediately after your death. This allows the transfer of property to quickly become a done deal with no more room for legal complications.
6. Get Clear on Who Will Handle Your Powers of Attorney
Experts in estate planning in Chandler Arizona will emphasize the importance of creating a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. You need a power of attorney for your health as well as for your finances. These people will make decisions on your behalf in the event that you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. We also recommend having a living will, that will help your family make end of life decisions.
We usually recommend that you designate a single person to make decisions about your medical care, with a second one added in case the first one no longer can make decisions. You could designate a biological family member, a spouse, or someone else.
It is important to realize that whoever you give this power to will generally be able to override the wishes of everyone else. It is important to design someone that can communicate well with all family members.
Understand the Most Important Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families
We hope that some of the ideas in this brief article about the best estate planning tips for blended families have been helpful for you. Many people don't like to think about things like this because they can be awkward. However, that awkwardness pales in comparison to the priority that is making sure that your legacy is managed the way that you want it to be.
That makes taking the time to figure out your estate planning for a blended family an investment more than worth the effort.
Citadel Law Firm has plenty of experience in designing estate planning scenarios for blended families. To learn more about how to plan an estate for a blended family or to speak with experts in estate planning call us today at (480)565-8020, or click here to schedule your free estate planning consultation. Our estate planning attorneys will be pleased to help you.
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