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Heritage Tree LogoHow Do Blended Families Handle Estate Planning?

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Upon remarrying, you may be excited to start a new life with your new spouse, all while welcoming stepchildren into your family. However, you must not forget that with your significant life changes may come necessary tweaks to your estate planning documents. Read on to discover how blended families are supposed to handle estate planning and how one of the seasoned Butler County remarriage protection attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can help you navigate this.

How are blended families supposed to go about estate planning?

First of all, it is recommended to circle back to your estate plan after your divorce or upon your remarriage. This is because, if your circumstances have completely shifted, you may have to revoke certain documents entirely and make a new estate plan.

At any rate, your blended family may be significantly larger than the family you were once a part of. Meaning, you may have more beneficiaries to whom you wish to pass down assets. This may require careful estate planning decisions, such as the following:

  • A family trust: this type of trust may allow your surviving spouse to determine how to distribute your assets based on each of your children’s and stepchildren’s needs.
  • A marital trust: this type of trust may allow your assets to go to your surviving spouse; and then upon your surviving spouse’s passing, the residual assets may be left to your children and stepchildren.
  • An outright ownership: this is a type of estate planning structure that does not need a trust; rather, you may trust your surviving spouse to take your assets and properly distribute them to your children and stepchildren.

What should I do if my former spouse is now a part of a blended family?

You may not have remarried or taken on stepchildren after your divorce. However, your former spouse might have, and this must be accounted for in your estate planning documents.

This is why, from the very beginning, it is in your best interest to include remarriage protections in your estate plan. Essentially, these are provisions that may be included in your revocable or irrevocable trust to ensure that your estate plan can be carried out accordingly even if your former spouse remarries.

In other words, their new spouse and stepchildren may be barred from any entitlement to the assets that you worked so hard for. Rather, your assets may be protected to benefit your children to the extent you desire.

Regarding your estate planning, there is no time like the present to get started. So please reach out to one of the competent Butler County estate planning attorneys from Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC at your earliest possible convenience.

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