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How Can Blended Families Handle Estate Planning?

Our lawyers have plenty of experience helping people develop estate plans that can ensure that their loved ones are well taken care of when they are gone. We always recommend that our clients set up an estate plan as soon as they can, but we know that taking this step can be especially important for our clients in blended families. If you want to make sure that your assets are passed down to the right beneficiaries and that the children from all of your marriages are looked after, talking to a Des Moines estate planning lawyer needs to be a top priority.

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Should Blended Families Use a Trust?

There are many estate planning options available to blended families. Different types of trusts can be good choices. We can take a look at your finances and your preferences and help you figure out a good way to go about this.

Family trusts can be useful because all of the assets are placed into a trust once the first spouse has passed away. Now the surviving spouse can distribute assets to the children and other beneficiaries according to their needs. This can be good if you and your spouse have come to an agreement on how you would provide for children from all of your marriages or relationships.

A marital trust behaves in a similar way, but certain assets are marked to be passed down to specific children. So the surviving spouse has control over the bulk of the assets, and when they pass away anything that you wanted to pass down to your children will be passed down.

When Should I Revise My Estate Plan?

Revising an estate plan from time to time is always a good idea, whether you are in a blended family or not. Editing your plan when there is a death in the family, a divorce, or a remarriage can be a good idea. It can also be necessary after a falling out with a loved one.

Even if there are no major life events or changes, it can still be wise to check in on your estate plan occasionally. Talking to your estate planning lawyer every three to five years and reviewing all of these documents could be a good idea.

How Should Blended Families Choose a Guardian?

For those with minor children, another important part of their estate plan is picking a guardian. There could be a debate about this in blended families since there can be so many candidates who can make good, caring guardians, so be sure to discuss this with your spouse early on. You will want to be on the same page here.

Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer

So when you are ready to sort through the paperwork and make some big decisions, contact Herting Law, PLLC first. Making an estate plan on your own can be quite difficult, so let one of our experienced attorneys help you out. Schedule your consultation soon!

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