The fact that more than half of U.S. families have remarried means the likelihood of many blended families. These families need to take additional steps when it comes to estate planning. They may face extra layers of challenges that the typical family may not.
For example, you may wonder that once you die, will your spouse treat your children as if they are her own? People in blended families want to be fair, but also need to be decisive and assertive when it comes to estate planning.
Update will and beneficiaries
Here are some matters to consider regarding estate planning for blended families:
- Make the necessary changes to your will: Your remarriage represents a life change that requires you to revisit your estate plan. This way you may leave assets to your current spouse and children.
- Make sure to update and change beneficiaries: There have been times when people failed to update their beneficiaries, and the assets went to a former spouse, leaving the current spouse without anything. Also, consider adding your stepchildren as beneficiaries. Do so if you have adopted them.
- Decide who will make health care decisions for you: Make this a firm decision. Will it be your current spouse or one of your children? By neglecting this task, you can expect some serious in-fighting within your blended family.
- Consider giving away money while still alive: Beginning in 2022, you may give up to $16,000 to people without suffering any tax consequences. This represents a solid gesture on your part, especially if your children are having financial struggles.
Be proactive and carefully consider the changes and updates you want to be done to your estate plan. Since you have made these decisions, it will give your blended family some peace of mind.
Estate planning among blended families may seem like too much of a complication. But it really is not. As long as you confront this task, make the necessary decisions and let your family know about those decisions, you are on the right path.