With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, blended families are becoming increasingly common. If you’re a member of a blended family, it’s important to consider estate planning and how it can help ensure that everyone is taken care of. Let’s take a look at what you should consider when setting up your estate plan.
Understand Your Goals
The first step in estate planning is understanding what your goals are. Are you looking to provide financial security for your spouse and children? Do you want to make sure that any assets you have are distributed according to your wishes? You must take the time to think about these issues and ensure you have a clear vision of how your estate should be handled. If you have a specific child that wants a certain heirloom, be sure to put that in writing, so there is no confusion later on.
Choose Beneficiaries Carefully
Once you’ve established your goals, the next step is choosing who will be the beneficiaries of your estate. This is an important decision because it determines who will receive any assets or property after you pass away. If children from previous relationships are involved, ensure they are included along with any current spouses or partners.
Determine How Assets Will Be Divided
It’s also important to decide how the assets will be divided among the beneficiaries—for example, if one beneficiary gets one asset and another gets another asset. You should also decide whether any assets will be held in trust so they can continue to grow over time while providing protection from taxes or creditors. If there are minor children involved, this is especially important as it ensures their financial security until they reach adulthood. Hiring an excellent attorney, such as Brabazon Law Office, LLC, is essential to ensure every piece is taken care of.
Create a Plan for Long-Term Care
Finally, it’s important to create a plan for long-term care in case anyone becomes unable to manage their own affairs due to age or illness. This could include deciding who will act as guardians if necessary or establishing trusts that provide funds for medical expenses or other needs. Doing this now can help ensure that everyone is taken care of and their wishes respected if such circumstances arise later on down the line. You can choose one or two children to put in charge of this or assign this task to an attorney.
Estate planning for blended families requires careful consideration and thoughtfulness in order for everything to go smoothly after someone passes away or becomes incapacitated due to age or illness. By understanding your goals, carefully selecting beneficiaries, determining how assets will be divided, and creating a plan for long-term care, you can ensure that everyone is taken care of now and in the future. With thoughtful planning and preparation today, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everyone in your blended family will be provided for tomorrow, no matter what happens down the line.
Written by: Rachelle Wilber
About the author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/people/Rachelle-Wilber/100009221637700/