A second chance at marital bliss may come with a lot of stress that you did not foresee. Creating an estate plan as a blended family may leave both of you confused about how you can take care of your children and each other.
With a blended family situation, there are some unique factors that you need to consider in your estate plan.
What happens when one spouse dies?
One of the most significant challenges to creating a second-marriage estate plan is what happens to your assets when you die before your spouse. More importantly, how do your biological children inherit in this instance? Since your spouse could, in theory, change his or her estate plan after your death to cut out your children, this may prove a valid concern.
You have options to ensure your children receive their inheritance. You and your spouse can each open trust accounts that benefit your respective biological heirs. This allows you to pass property and assets to whomever you choose without your spouse becoming involved. You can also utilize life insurance policies to add children as beneficiaries.
What do you do about advance directives?
Between your two marriages, you may have changed your advance directive to give a sibling or even a parent the right to handle your medical care should you become unable to do so. However, you may want to rewrite these documents to allow your spouse that option. Not doing this may cause your spouse to challenge the choices whomever you left in charge make and cause a legal battle.
You and your new spouse should discuss all changes you make to your estate plan. Failing to do so may create hardship and hard feelings between your new spouse and family members during an emotional time.