Challenges in Creating an Estate Plan for Blended Families

Estate Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

Creating an estate plan with your blended family in mind can be particularly challenging. Depending upon how you choose to distribute your assets, the process can become complicated very quickly. No family member deserves to be left to distinguish how your final wishes should be carried out. When faced with this particular dilemma, an estate planning lawyer can provide invaluable insight to navigating the many challenges that may arise from an estate plan involving a blended family.

Challenge #1 Fair Treatment

Your children will likely feel entitled to receiving fair treatment. In the most complicated of situations, some siblings may feel they are actually entitled to more. This is especially true if one spouse joined the marriage with more assets than the other. However, it’s important that your estate plan clearly outline how your assets should be distributed. It may also be a good idea to communicate your wishes to your children so that there are no surprises later on.

Challenge #2 Leaving Everything to Your Spouse

It’s not uncommon for a married couple to leave everything to their living spouse in the event of their passing. However, by doing so, you put your children at risk of obtaining nothing in the long run. There are a number of things that could result in this, for example, if your spouse were to remarry, they may no longer feel obligated to provide an inheritance to your children. Instead, it may be wise to speak with an estate planning lawyer about a trust which places assets left to children in an account to be overseen by a trustee. The assets can then be distributed to the beneficiary at the time of your choosing.  

Challenge #3 Creating Separate Estate Plans

It’s not uncommon for two people to have created separate estate plans at some point. This could pose challenges down the road, especially if you have a different understanding of the contents of your spouse’s estate plan. It may be a good idea to consider creating an estate plan together to prevent any confusion later on. The last thing you want is for there to be two estate plans for each of you that are either outdated or vastly different. Creating one estate plan can provide multiple benefits. One estate plan can help to ensure that you are both on the same page. Additionally, neither of you will be able to make changes without the other person’s approval. This may be the most efficient way to outline a cohesive plan for your loved ones.

Don’t Face a Complicated Estate Plan Alone

Even the most straightforward of family units can have their fair share of complicated issues during the estate planning process. When a family is made up of stepparents and stepchildren, it’s important that you carefully evaluate how you would like to address their inheritance in the estate plan. Utilizing the services of an estate planning lawyer can provide guidance that may prove invaluable. The process of estate planning is daunting enough, facing it alone can feel especially challenging. An estate planning lawyer can help you work out the kinks to mitigate the risk that your loved ones will fight or fracture their relationships after you have passed.

When you and your partner became one, chances are you both worked incredibly hard to integrate the children into your union. In most cases, this is often easier said than done. Blended families come with their own set of difficulties. When diligently cared for, two people have the ability to bring their family together as one strong and cohesive unit. Don’t let all of your hard work in building a strong family unit fall to the wayside by failing to execute an estate plan. The last thing you want is to leave all that you have built crumbling upon your passing. Contact an estate lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on for guidance in managing an estate plan for your blended family as soon as possible.    

Contact Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into estate planning and challenges to creating an estate plan for blended families.

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