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Tips for Resolving Inheritance Decisions With a Blended Family


Blended families are more common than ever. A blended family is a family made up of a couple and their children from their previous marriage(s). Currently, 3 out of every 4 Americans who become divorced remarry, and 65% of all remarriages in the United States involve blended families in which a spouse brings in children from another marriage on at least one side. It is now almost as typical for a child to live with a step-parent than in a traditional two-family home.

What Are Some Unique Issues Surrounding Estate Planning for Blended Families? 

Estate planning for Florida blended families comes with its own set of unique issues. If you are a couple looking toward retirement, it’s essential to discover and agree on your shared goals. If this is your second marriage, you may have retirement accounts that list your children as the beneficiaries upon your death. Now that you and your spouse have a blended family, it might make sense to change the listed beneficiary to your spouse.

In some cases, if the assets in the spouse’s retirement account go to their biological children, their spouse may need to make a lifestyle change upon their spouse’s death. One idea would be to make each other’s surviving spouses the beneficiaries. Married couples could each list his or her biological children as his or her life insurance beneficiaries. This way, all of the children from a blended family will inherit assets while ensuring the surviving spouse enjoys enough assets to live comfortably in retirement.

It Is Wise to Review and Updates Your Estate Plan After a Subsequent Marriage

In the excitement of starting your brand new life together as a blended family, it is easy to procrastinate reviewing your estate plan. It’s wise to think about how much you want each of your biological children and children from your recent marriage to inherit. If you have a child who is dependent on you and will continue to be as an adult, you can set aside a certain amount of money to go to him or her upon your death.

A living trust may also be a good idea. In a Florida living trust, you can direct the trust to leave assets to your spouse during his or her lifetime and then give the remaining assets on to your children. Some blended families opt for something called an ABC trust. In this case, each trust has its own set of rules with its personal allocated assets. This set up could work well in a blended family. Trusts also come with some tax benefits as well that may make them appealing.

If You Have a Blended Family, We Are Here To Help With Your Estate Planning

As you start your new lives together, why not take some time to make the best estate plan possible. Whatever your Florida estate planning needs, contact Pompano Beach estate & trust litigation lawyer Mark R. Manceri, P.A. to set up a consultation today.




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