There can be a lot of joy and excitement in a second marriage. There can also be a lot of angst about bringing two families with children together. Sometimes it goes very well, while it can be very challenging at other times. Aside from the logistics of blending a family, there are estate planning issues that also need to be addressed early to avoid confusion and conflict down the road.
When you blend a family, it is typically because two people have been married before and had their own children. They may get married to each other and have additional kids together as well, further complicating the estate planning process. There are usually assets that each partner had before the marriage, and then there are assets accumulated during the marriage also. As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to planning an estate like this.
When planning your estate, here are some things to consider:
- Who do you want to have your personal belongings such as jewelry and family mementos?
- Who will get your assets such as investments, insurance, brokerage accounts, etc.?
- Take time with your new spouse to sit down and have an honest conversation about what each of you wants.
- How will you make sure that your children are cared for in the event that you pass away?
These are just a few of the questions and ideas you need to consider when planning your estate in a blended family. While you may be very close to your step children, you likely want to leave personal items to your own kids. This can be a tricky situation unless it is handled properly. The last thing you want to do is cause marital strife or conflict within your new family. An estate planning attorney can help you navigate these tricky waters so that you are not left feeling uncomfortable about your decisions.