Estate planning can be tricky for anyone, but if you have a blended family, you may need to undergo an even more complex process so that you have the flexibility to make all the necessary plans to take care of everyone. There are also special issues that you should be extra aware of when estate planning for blended families.
How to go about estate planning in blended families
When trying to plan your estate for when you and your spouse are no longer around, you need to determine how any assets that you have will be distributed to you and your spouse’s remaining children. You should strive to be fair, but you should also know that it can be even more difficult to make everyone happy in blended families because it’s that much easier for stepchildren to feel slighted by their nonbiological parents. You should also try to be as clear and transparent as possible to others about your wishes after your passing. Finally, you should also investigate the advantages of a living trust because these types of arrangements often give you more flexibility than a will.
Difference between a will and a trust
If you’re unsure about the difference between a will and a trust, know that you’re not alone. Basically, the will is the most basic part of estate planning, but the downside to only creating a will is that the funds that you leave to your heirs will have to go through probate, which can be time-consuming and a burden on your loved ones who are left behind. It’s also a very public process, which can make people feel uncomfortable because it leaves the total assets left behind as public record. A trust takes more time and effort to set up, but it’s also more comprehensive, which makes everything easier on your loved ones when you die. You just have to set up a trustee to carry out your wishes upon your death. You can also set limitations on how your heirs will receive the funds or how they’re allowed to use it if you’re concerned that they’ll spend it all quickly.
When you’re interested in setting up your assets for distribution upon your death, you’ll need to take care of your estate planning before you’re gone so that the process of your children and stepchildren receiving their inheritance goes as smoothly as possible.