Today majority of blended families live together peacefully without any issues. However, what if one spouse dies suddenly? How are the biological children of the deceased spouse placed in terms of inheritance? It is particularly important for blended families to discuss matters related to estate planning beforehand. Here are a few points that could help with estate planning for blended families that include stepchildren:
Division of assets
Typically, stepchildren are not deliberately omitted from the estate plans of the parents. In most cases, stepchildren are treated the same as biological children by parents. However, there can be a few cases where the parent may want to offer different parts of the estate to his/her biological children and stepchildren.
If you’re a part of a blended family and need to divide your property among your stepchildren and biological children, you could either do it equally or differently by taking into consideration the additional financial aid sources or inheritance, which the stepchildren or biological children have.
The naming of specific beneficiaries
The parents can name either their own children or their step-children as recipients or inheritors of the various estate portions or selected properties.
Time of distribution
The time of distribution is a vital part of estate planning as far as blended families are concerned. Do all the distributions go to step-children and biological children after the lifetimes of both spouses? Or are certain amounts distributed to one of the groups or both groups after one spouse dies?
Old will review
If you have a will, trust or any other document related to estate planning, you need to carefully review it when you get remarried. Some sections might need to be updated, for example those talking about whether to include or exclude your stepchildren from your property.
It is important to make a detailed list which states all the things you wish to remove or add in the new will as well as other documents. It is vital to have a discussion with your partner regarding the plans. Also include your step-children and biological children in the discussion if they are grown-up and have the potential to understand the subject.
If you have any questions about the financial impact of not having a will or estate plan for your family do not hesitate to contact Wealthnest Planners for a free consultation
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified legal advisor.