Have you ever considered how your blended family could impact your estate plan? With the rise of blended families, it's essential to consider how your estate plan could affect the ones you love in the future. If you're unsure where to start, don't worry, we're here to help.
Blended families can be complicated, and estate planning can add more complexity. But, with the right plan, you can create a stronger, more united family that will be protected.
Let's start by looking at what estate law says about blended families. Every state has different provisions for what happens when you become incapacitated or die, and the laws of the state where you become incapacitated or die may or may not match your wishes.
For example, if you're in Colorado and are survived by a spouse, your surviving spouse would only receive a part of your estate if you have living children (or parents!), and your living children or parents would receive the rest. In California, all community property assets would go to your surviving spouse, and separate property assets would be distributed partially to a surviving spouse and partially to children, if living, in amounts depending on the number of surviving children.
In Texas, it can get complicated, depending on whether your assets are separate or community and whether you have children from the marriage, no children from the union, or living parents or siblings. As you can see, what's true for what happens when you die may not result in the outcome you want for your loved ones, especially in a blended family situation.
That's where estate planning comes in. By creating a plan for your blended family, you can avoid any potential conflict or hurt feelings in the future. But it's not just about creating a plan; it's also about open communication with your loved ones.
Estate planning can often be seen as a highly private affair, but it doesn't have to be. In the case of a blended family, having open conversations with your loved ones about your estate plan and your goals for the family can save them from hurt feelings and even court battles in the future.
You don't need to give away every detail of your Will or Trust, but start by having an open conversation about the general goal of your estate plan, such as wanting everyone to have an equal share or that you want to provide more for your biological children because your step-children will already receive a full inheritance from their other parent.
Taking the mystery out of your estate plan goals will make your stepchildren feel included in the discussion and knowledgeable about your plan. It's essential to let the people in your life know you value and love them and that no matter how they're related to you, you care about them and want them to inherit not just material things from you but also your values, stories, and legacy.
Creating an estate plan isn't just about the legalities; it's about creating a family legacy. With the right estate plan, you can ensure your blended family is protected, and your legacy is carried on.
To make sure your wishes for your blended family are followed in the event of your death or incapacity, it's essential to have a well-crafted estate plan created by an attorney experienced in serving blended families. As an Estate Planning Lawyer, we know the importance of planning for blended families and can help you navigate your estate planning journey.
So, don't wait any longer. Protect your blended family's future by starting the estate planning process today. Your family will thank you for it.
This article is courtesy of Jacklyn Truppa of Dynasty Law, LLC. We don't just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you've ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.
The content is believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you seek legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained separately from this educational material.