After you left your last marriage, you went to your attorney to adjust your estate plan. Now that you’re looking to marry again, it’s another time when it’s important to talk to your attorney about blending your families and how doing so may impact your estate.
Blending two families together can create issues with inheritances and may impact the way your will works. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to change your estate plan and update it accordingly.
Blending families can cause issues in estate planning
Blending families can cause problems with estate plans. For example, if you pass away and your new spouse takes over the estate, can you trust that they will treat your child fairly in the future, or is there a risk that they will disinherit them?
It’s important to recognize now that having a simple will isn’t likely enough to protect yourself or your children. Though your spouse may mean well, their biases towards their own children or potential heirs could be problematic for your estate.
The good news is that you can set up a trust to leave assets to your spouse, children or other heirs specifically, so that you don’t have to worry about your children or others being cut out in the future.
You should also plan for the potential of having a surviving spouse who later remarries. Some people do this by leaving only a portion of their assets to the surviving spouse and then the remainder to their biological or adopted children upon death.
You may also want to select an unbiased party as your health care power of attorney, so that they can make decisions for you but not fail to let others know about how you are or if you’ve been hospitalized. Choosing someone unbiased helps avoid family drama.
In the end, your estate planning steps should consider what is best for you and your direct family. Taking the time to discuss and update your estate plan before a new marriage is essential to protecting your estate and making sure that your wishes are carried out if you pass away.