As family dynamics continue to evolve and change, blended families are becoming quite common in Florida. If you fall under this category, you should create an estate plan that addresses all family members. Read on to learn more about estate planning for blended families.
Blended families in Florida
When two people from previous marriages or a serious relationship with kids marry, things can become a little complicated in the estate planning process. You cannot always be certain that your partner will adequately provide for your child after you are gone. Besides, they can always remarry, making things even more complicated.
Thus, you must make sure that all your loved ones are taken care of and are satisfied with how you want to distribute your assets and money among them. Don’t make the mistake of leaving everything to your spouse with the idea that they will take care of everyone satisfactorily. In most instances, the other spouse favors their own children or can spend up all the estate funds, leaving nothing for your loved ones.
How to create a solid estate plan
First, you need a lawyer and a financial advisor. They can help you see the pitfalls in your plans, including those that could have profound tax implications. Next, instead of creating a joint will with your spouse, use a trust.
Trusts are a great choice for blended families because you can dictate the process of your estate inheritance depending on your specific needs and the uniqueness of the situation. For instance, you can control how much each person gets and the circumstances to get their assets.
When incapacitated, you want someone who will make financial decisions for you, especially if you have a business, as well as health decisions. Therefore, you will appoint financial power of attorney and advance health care directives. These people can be anyone: your attorney, spouse, the eldest child, sibling, etc.
Always remember to keep your estate plans updated as needed. Leaving important assets out of your plans can trigger contests or disagreements that could create a rift in your family. Also, make sure that you communicate effectively with everyone to prepare them for what’s to come in your estate plans.