There are many families today that do not fit the traditional nuclear family image of decades past. Blended families, where parents bring their own children into the family, are now much more common. When you create an estate plan for these types of families, the issues you face are often more complicated than the issues faced by families without stepchildren or that do not have blended family situations. Here are couple of issues you will need to think about when creating your estate plan.
Couples in their second marriages or who bring children from a different relationship into the marriage will sometimes have significantly different levels of wealth between them. In this situation it’s important for the spouses to develop an estate plan which takes into account how each of their wealth will impact the other, especially when it comes to estate taxes.
Inheritances and Spousal Shares
All states allow spouses to inherit a specific portion of a deceased spouse’s estate. In some situations the spousal share may be more than the value of the estate, meaning the spouse would effectively inherit all the deceased spouse’s property. In this situation, the deceased spouse’s own children would effectively be left out of an inheritance unless the couple created an estate plan which dealt with this issue.
Of course, there are many more estate planning issues you’ll want to consider even if you aren’t a part of a blended family. You can learn more about these at our next free estate planning seminar. The next two will be on October 9th in Fertile, Minnesota and October 10th in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The seminars are free but space is limited, so contact our office for registration information.