Imagine being married four times. How do you think your estate plan will be? Will it be the same with those who have one family? Certainly not. If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to create an estate plan that can cater for your immediate family (surviving spouse and children) and the children of your previous marriages. This can be a huge challenge, especially if you aren’t quite sure of what to do. Here is where an estate planning attorney comes into play.
The best solution to this issue is by drafting a flowchart that indicates the course of both partner’s properties, irrespective of who kicks the bucket first. This will make it very easy to figure out the level of authority the surviving spouse will have over the assets before it is transferred to the children. Below are some hints that can help you plan the best estate for your blended family.
Trusts and Wills
Trusts and wills are two significant elements of an estate plan. These elements are required for blended families who wish to clearly outline how they want their properties to be distributed. You need to understand that a trust and a will are not mutually exclusive. Assets you don’t include in your will must be included in your trust. You need to get an estate planning attorney for this.
If you had kids in your previous marriage and you wish that your assets be transferred to the kids, you will need to make a living trust. The living trust would benefit your current spouse as long as you are alive. However, when you die, the assets contained in the trust will be transferred to the children. As basic as this plan seems, it has some difficulties.
One of the difficulties is in designating a trustee. If you end up designating your current partner as the trustee, she may end up using all the assets in the trust, thus, leaving nothing for the children of your previous marriage. For this plan to work, you will need the support of your current spouse.
You shouldn’t undermine the authority name has as far as estate planning is concerned. Irrespective of what is stated in your will, your IRA account will be transferred to the beneficiary of the account. This means that, the account will be inherited by whoever you designated as its beneficiary and not what is stated in your will. You need to designate a beneficiary for some of your assets, even while alive. So if you choose your first spouse as the beneficiary of a certain asset, you may forget to modify it after you remarry. In a situation like this, if you designate the children of your new spouse to be the beneficiary of such asset, the asset which you designated to your former spouse will definitely go to them. Ensure you don’t make this mistake. Contact an estate planning attorney for more clarification.
Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning can be a very complex process. Such plans are best handled by professionals. To plan an estate that conforms to your wish, you need an estate planning understands your wish and is capable of incorporating those wishes yours in your estate plan.
Of course, you may be tempted to plan your estate yourself. However, you must have it in mind that to plan a good estate, you must be very conversant with the estate planning laws of your state. You wouldn’t want to plan an estate that doesn’t conforms to the estate laws of your state, as doing so could put your estate plan in jeopardy.
In addition, an estate planning attorney has the experience needed to make an estate plan for your blended family. Remember, making an estate plan for a single family is quite different from making an estate plan for a blended family. Estate planning for blended families is more complex. For this reason, you really need to contact a competent estate planning attorney. We have the best attorneys who can help your family make a quality estate plan. Contact us now!