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Estate Planning for Blended Families

 Posted on December 27, 2016 in Estate Planning

If you have children from a previous marriage or relationship (or your spouse does), then careful estate planning is absolutely critical to the financial future of your loved ones. What does that really mean, though? How do you move forward and ensure that everyone receives their fair share upon your death, and that any minor children are cared for in your absence? The following explains, and provides some key information on where to find assistance with your blended family estate plan.

Why is Estate Planning is So Critical?

Estate planning is a difficult process - not just because it is a complex matter, but also because it requires you to think about your death: what might happen, what you want to happen, and how you want your assets to be distributed. Yet it truly is necessary, especially when you have children or a blended family. Children need a guardian named if they are minors. If they are adults, those who are not blood related could potentially lose out on an inheritance. Or it could cause arguments in your family after you are gone. Estate planning gives you the chance to make your wishes known, ensures that the right assets go to the right individuals, and protects minor children by ensuring they have a guardian that you and your spouse trust.

Things to Consider in a Blended Family Estate Plan

Because every family is unique, each estate plan is different. This remains true for blended families as well. However, there are a few similarities from one family to the next. Most must make considerations regarding the assets to be assigned to each child. Those with minor children should also name at least an emergency guardian, primary guardian, and a "backup" guardian, just in case the primary passes away, is no longer up to the task, or is otherwise unable to fulfill their duties at the time of the parent's death.

Family dynamics must also be considered. Unfortunately, some may struggle more with this consideration than any other. For example, a stepfather may want to leave an inheritance behind for his stepchildren, but is not certain how the rest of the family might react. The matter might be even further compounded if he also happens to have a natural child that has an addiction problem or trouble managing money. Then he not only has to worry about how the rest of the family might react to the step-child's inheritance; he may also have to worry about whether his natural child will feel slighted in his smaller (or even non-existent) inheritance.

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Attorneys

If you do not have an estate plan in place, and are uncertain of where to start, contact Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC. We are dedicated to ensuring you and your family understand your options and will work to find creative solutions to fit your needs. Skilled and experienced, we protect your family's interests, now and into the future. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule your consultation with our DuPage County estate planning lawyers today.


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