Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families

When it comes to families, there is no standard picture. In fact, in recent years, there have been a growing number of blended or mixed families that have found a way to come together and recreate their version of a family. If you are in this type of scenario, navigating the world of estate planning can seem stressful and come along with a host of uncertainties. However, fortunately, there are some things you can do to simplify the process. 

Talk to Your Partner

If both you and your partner have children that you brought into the relationship, it is a good idea for the two of you to sit down and discuss your plans. If you are older, there is a high probability that you both brought assets to the table—assets you gained before you were married. 

With some blended families, individuals decide to set aside their pre-marriage assets for their biological children and only conjoin those assets that they earned during the relationship. To be sure the two of you are on the same page, it is best to have a heart-to-heart conversation. However, remember, it is up to you to do what you feel is best. 

Firm up Your Old Documents

If you were married before and you already have some estate plans in place, make sure you go back over the already completed sections of your plan. More than likely, there are some important changes that you need to make. 

Unfortunately, there are instances when a person has forgotten to update their plans to their new spouse, and instead, their ex-spouse is still listed as the beneficiary. Legally, any assets awarded to the individual listed as the beneficiary, even when this person is not the current spouse, will be awarded to this person. If you so choose, make sure you go over old documents and remove outdated information. 

Speak With the Other Parent

Remember, estate planning is not just about your financial assets. This document will typically also include details about the care of your children in the event of your death, provided they are still minors. You should include everything from who will raise the children to stipulations about religious practices.

If the other parent of your children is still living, you likely need to speak with them about your plans before you speak with your current spouse. In the event of your passing, it is highly likely that the other parent will gain legal custody of the children, so their input matters. 

An attorney can help you with every part of the process, from the planning phase to the execution of the estate plan. Visit websites like to learn more.