Estate Planning for Blended Families: Essential Tips

millman law group estate planning for blended families

Estate planning for blended families can be complicated without professional help.

A blended family can bring a lot of joy into your home but can, unfortunately, make estate planning a bit more complex. How can you make sure that every family member is taken care of if a parent were to pass away? Estate planning for blended families can help to ensure that every child is protected. This complex process can be navigated with the help of an experienced lawyer at The Millman Law Group. By building a concrete estate plan with a professional, you can avoid probate court and legal issues in the future.

What Counts as a Blended Family? 

A blended family frequently refers to married couples with children from previous marriages or relationships. These families can include stepchildren or half-siblings, extended family members who reside in the same home, and more. 

How Estate Planning Is Different For Blended Families

Estate planning is not inherently different for blended families, but there are often more family members to consider. You may also have children from previous marriages involved. One of the challenges for blended families is selecting a guardian. Families also need to consider how they divide up assets and funds. Blended families may want to establish a trust to ensure that every child receives their inheritance if one spouse dies before the other. 

Best Estate Planning Options

The best options for blended families take every family relationship into account. The challenge with this family structure can be properly determining inheritance size, naming an executor, and overall fairness. Estate planning for blended families may often use these tools: 

  • Family Trusts: all assets go into a combined trust following the first spouse’s death. This means that the surviving parent can determine how to distribute assets based on each child’s needs. 
  • Marital Trusts: your assets can pass to the surviving spouse while earmarking any residual assets for children after that spouse’s death. This structure lets both spouses make a plan that includes all children in the family. 
  • Outright Ownership: All assets will transfer to the surviving spouse, with a trust for the children involved. In this case, each spouse will need to trust that the other will properly account for the kids. 
  • Immediate Bequests: You can also leave assets to each child within your will. In cases where you want your child to inherit items directly, it can be the best choice. 

Essential Estate Planning Tips

A good rule when estate planning for blended families is to be as thorough as possible. Talk with each spouse and former spouse to ensure that every child is taken care of in your estate plan. Additionally, you should make sure to revisit your estate plan every three to five years to make sure it is updated and suits your current family structure. An estate planning lawyer can help you ensure you don’t overlook any necessary details. 

Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group

Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.