Balancing the needs of a multi-generational blended family with your own wishes can be a complicated task, especially when it comes to estate planning. With a majority of Americans not only marrying once, but twice, three or even four times during their lives, it is a challenge that will come to many.
Even when blended family members get along, estate planning can be complicated. The potential for acrimony among family members can be so great that some people choose to avoid addressing the issue of who will inherit what altogether. However, as any estate planning attorney will tell you, having no plan is not a good plan.
Overall, an effective estate plan for a blended family will ensure that:
- Any ex-spouses do not inherit;
- Your own children are protected;
- Your current spouse is provided for;
- Any estate taxes are minimized.
Estate plans are as individualistic as the families they cover, so it is always advisable to consult with an expert before finalizing your plan. Although there are a plethora of online resources and books on the subject, estate planning for the blended family does not make a good do-it-yourself project.