Estate Planning For Blended Families: 5 Tips On Getting It Right
Blended families have always been around, but in recent years, it’s become a kind of new normal, which makes sense, because it’s often the best solution for everyone involved. However, there are certain issues when living in such an arrangement which is why it’s important to take care of every little detail beforehand. Furthermore, estate planning in case of death can get tricky, therefore, before you do something similar, make sure to have all the information available to you. If you’ve been thinking about this topic, here are some estate planning tips for blended families that will help you do it the right way.
Make sure to do your research
Not all places have equal inheritance laws, so it’s hugely important to do your research and make sure that you have all the necessary info. Get all the right documents, and make sure to fill them out correctly. This might not seem important one day, but since life it’s unpredictable, it’s always better to be informed and prepared when something serious happens and you need to decide what to do with your estate and other assets.
Have a conversation with everyone in the family
This might seem like the most difficult task out there, but it’s highly crucial to do it. If having a conversation is impossible due to different reasons, then it’s important to use your best judgment and do only what’s fair to everyone. If making such a decision makes you stressed, then feel free to consult an attorney who’ll be able to help you out. Also, having a talk with your family members (individually or together) will provide you with a clearer picture regarding their expectations and wishes.
Write a will, even if it’s hard for you
Writing a will can be a difficult endeavour, but it can be a great way to sort everything out without too much stress. As you probably know, a will is a legal document that states what you want to be done with your assets in case something happens to you. This type of document can contain all the relevant information that should be passed on after your death. Also, a properly-written will can make distribution of estate to the beneficiaries much smoother, since everything will be written in the document. However, since laws vary from state to state, it’s of utmost importance to ensure that your will is legal and valid.
Choose the trustees
Trustees are people who gain legal ownership of your assets after you pass away. Even though the mere thought of it sounds bleak, choosing and appointing trustees is a huge task that shouldn’t be avoided. Usually, a trustee is a surviving spouse, however, in the case of a blended family, it would be smart to have additional trustees as well. Also, when doing something like that, make sure to be open in order to avoid family feuds and other disagreements. Making your biological children trustees can remove the risk of them being disinherited in favour of your surviving spouse and their children! Therefore, be smart and plan your actions wisely.
Think about opening a separate bank account
A separate bank account can be a useful way to transfer your financial assets, in case you own a joint account with your spouse. Maybe something like this might seem too harsh, but if you want to make sure that your children are protected. Your spouse might be the most wonderful and kindest person who adores your biological children, but you’re the only one who can ensure they’re covered. So, in order to minimise the risks, think about opening a separate bank account and name them as beneficiaries. That will show them that you care about their well-being, however, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to take care of your spouse and the rest of your blended family.
Estate planning can be an emotionally-draining task, but with enough honesty and knowledge, it’s possible to get it done without damaging anyone involved. When it comes to blended families, it’s important to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, as that will make the process much easier to go through. Finally, asking for legal help is a must, if you want to ensure that everyone’s taken care of and safe.