Families in Texas come in all shapes and sizes these days. It is not unusual for a person with children from a previous relationship to remarry. Other times, a person has no children but is married, divorces and remarries. Blended families are becoming increasingly common, but they do present some considerations when it comes to estate planning.
Evaluate the needs of your family
Family dynamics in any family can be complicated, and blended families are no different. You will have to consider the needs of your children, your spouse and your stepchildren. Keep everyone’s needs in mind. Remember, fairness does not always mean equal. However, if you are going to give one party a greater inheritance than another, it can help to explain your decision while you are still able to. Your family may not always agree, but at least there will be no unpleasant surprises.
Revocable living trusts and blended families
While a simple will may suffice for some families, many blended families benefit from establishing a revocable living trust. In a trust you can put contingencies on an inheritance. In addition, since you transfer your assets to your trust during your lifetime, you technically own none of them when you pass, meaning your estate avoids probate. However, think carefully about who you will name as trustee to manage your trust. When it comes to blended families, it may be worth considering selecting a professional, such as an attorney or financial expert to manage your trust, especially if there is tension between adult children from a previous relationship and your new spouse.
Learn more about estate planning
Ultimately, this post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about estate planning are encouraged to explore our firm’s estate planning website for further information.