Blended families can bring a sense of joy and belonging in the home. However, stepparents and biological parents have to make sure there is a plan in place to take care of everyone in the immediate family if anything were to happen. Estate planning for blended families is one of the best ways to ensure that each child in the family is protected. If you live in Pennsylvania, here are some things you should know about planning for your inheritance, selecting an executor, and nominating guardians.
Planning for the future with a blended family
Blended families are married couples who have children from previous relationships or marriages. These families can include stepchildren or half-siblings if the married couple has children together. Blended families are becoming more common these days: about 16% of children currently live in blended family homes.
Estate planning when it comes to blended families can be complicated, so it’s important to build a solid plan that can help you avoid probate court and legal challenges in the future. Usually, the most effective way to get started is to discuss your plans with your spouse and work with a legal professional to get the right documents for securing your finances and assets.
Types of estate planning tools
Types of estate planning tools include family trusts which ensure that all assets go into a combined trust after the death of the first spouse. This means the surviving parent will decide how to distribute the assets based on the needs of the children.
A marital trust is also an option; this trust allows the assets to go to the surviving spouse while designating residual assets for the children after a spouse passes away. This allows both spouses to create an estate plan that benefits all the children in the family.