A blended family is a family where the parents have children from previous relationships. When it comes to estate planning, there are a few things that you need to do if you have a blended family.
Make sure that your will is up to date
When a blended family lacks an updated will, it can cause all sorts of problems. One of them is that your children from your previous relationship could end up being disinherited. Another is that your new spouse could end up with everything, even if you intended for them to only have a portion of your estate. If you don’t have a will, or if your will is out of date, then now is the time to update it. If you die without a will, your estate may get divided according to the laws of your state. If you have a will, make sure that it reflects your current family situation.
Make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date
Your will is not the only thing that controls what happens to your assets when you die. Many assets, like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, have beneficiary designation forms. These estate planning forms control who gets the asset when you die, regardless of what your will says. So, if you want your new spouse to inherit your life insurance policy, you need to make sure that they’re listed as the beneficiary. The same goes for your children from your previous relationship. You need to make sure that they get listed as beneficiaries on any accounts that you want them to inherit.
Talk to your family about your estate plan
You need to let your spouse know what you have in mind for them, and you need to let your children know what they can expect to inherit. This can avoid a lot of problems down the road, such as family members feeling like they were left out or treated unfairly. It can also help to avoid fights over your estate after you’re gone. If everyone knows what to expect, it will be much easier for them to deal with your death.
If you have a blended family, estate planning can be a bit more complicated than if you have a traditional nuclear family. But, with a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your assets are distributed the way that you want them to be.