Today, there are more blended families than ever before. Taking on the role of a stepparent to someone else’s children is a role that not everyone can take on. However, if you step up to do this, you likely want to ensure your entire family is taken care of after you pass.
To make this happen, there are certain elements you need to consider when creating an estate plan:
Update your beneficiaries carefully
Many people don’t change their wills or beneficiaries when they remarry. If you fail to do this, your ex-spouse may still be named as the beneficiary of your life insurance, 401(k) and other assets.
Changing your beneficiary to reflect your current family situation is essential. You can also designate your children and stepchildren as secondary beneficiaries, so they receive the asset if you both pass away.
Revise your will accordingly
When you die, your will outlines who will get your assets. It’s important to make sure those named in your will are the people in your life now that you want to inherit things like jewelry that was your grandmother’s or even real estate you own.
You don’t have to treat heirs equally
When you remarry and your new spouse brings children into the marriage, there’s a good chance you won’t want them to be treated the same as your children regarding asset distribution after you pass away. You need to account for this in your estate plan by creating stipulations that ensure your children receive what they are entitled to receive, rather than it going to your new spouse or their children.
Creating an estate plan with a blended family
While blended families are common today, they can present some challenges regarding your estate plan. Keep the information above in mind to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes based on your current situation.