This is a discussion of some considerations surrounding Estate Planning for the blended family and how a good Estate Planning attorney can help to address and handle these.
According to a recent American census, individuals are marrying (and remarrying) later in life at an older age. This means that there is an accrual of more assets and increased financial security prior to getting married, but also potential blended family concerns if it is not the individual’s first marriage. Moreover, an article published by USA Today says that when it comes to blended families, Estate Planning has the potential to get ugly. With the right attorney, however, it thankfully does not have to.
For anyone with children or modest assets, at least a minimal level of Estate Planning should be seriously considered. This refers not only to whom the estate is left, but also to family heirlooms, property, and other assets that may not inherently contain financial value.
The USA Today article also indicates that there is a trend causing healthcare costs to take a toll on family estates. This trend, combined with current economic conditions, has affected retirement accounts and other savings. Money once intended to pass to the next generation is being used before it ever passes.
Most parents want to ensure that what is left of their assets passes onto their children, not to their stepchildren. Without a plan in place, their assets will pass to their surviving spouse and the distribution will be left to the surviving spouse’s discretion. More often than not, this can mean excluding the surviving spouse’s stepchildren from receiving anything.
When creating your Estate Planning documents, it is important to be exceedingly detailed and have an attorney review them. While there is no single solution to address all of the potential problems that may arise in a blended family after a person has passed away, considering these issues highlights the importance of proper planning and open family discussion.
ODGERS LAW GROUP specializes in Estate Planning and can help you create a master plan for your blended family that is tailored to your needs and addresses many of your potential concerns. To learn more about estate planning or to schedule your free consultation with Mr. Odgers, contact us by e-mail, call us at (858) 869-1114, or schedule your appointment online here.