The uncertainties of a pandemic make it important, now more than ever, for everyone to review their estate plans and prepare for the unpromising future, but it’s absolutely paramount for members of blended families to have proper legal guidance in their estate preparations to ensure their loved ones are cared for in the smoothest and least contentious way in the event of a death.
Why is it important to review my estate in my blended family?
It is always important to review your estate, your finances, and who you want to benefit from when you pass away. If you are part of a blended family, it is particularly important to review your estate and plan appropriately. A blended family by definition will involve benefiting multiple parties. Oftentimes the spouse and your children from a prior marriage.
What are non-probate assets?
Life insurance policies and retirement accounts are examples of non-probate assets that go not through a Will, but by beneficiary designation.
What aspects of my estate can be affected?
There are some assets such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and annuities that all come with required beneficiary designations on beneficiary forms. And what people often don’t realize is that those assets are not part of one’s estate, and they do not pass through a Will when you die. Instead, those assets are paid directly to those who are named on the beneficiary forms.
How can I leave specific assets to specific beneficiaries?
You can leave specific assets to specific beneficiaries by listing your intended beneficiaries on life insurance policy, life insurance beneficiary forms, or retirement account forms, or by crafting a Will that leaves assets to specific beneficiaries in specific percentages.
How can an experienced estate-planning attorney benefit my blended family?
Think of proper estate preparation with legal counsel as asset insurance and protection just as much as you see it as preparing for the future. Depending on your family’s specific situation and needs, an estate-planning attorney can select and execute several forms of planning strategy.
There is no one size fits all approach. No matter the option you are leaning towards choosing, your estate plan should be as dynamic and unique as is your blended family.
Contact one of our seasoned attorneys to discuss your estate planning needs and ensure you’ve appropriately prepared for your family’s future.