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3 estate planning tips for blended families

ou never thought it would happen, but you found love – again – later in life. You’re about to embark on a second (or third) marriage.

Now, you just have to get your estate plan set up correctly, with an eye toward making sure that both you and your loved ones are fully protected in the future. Here are some tips that can help:

Remember that you don’t want to accidentally disinherit someone

In your first marriage, you and your spouse may simply have left everything to each other, knowing that your children would eventually inherit it. When there’s a blended family situation, however, the adult children of the spouse who dies first can end up being effectively disinherited if their parent’s will leaves everything to a new spouse.

You need to have some hard conversations with your spouse-to-be about how to divide your assets fairly, no matter who passes away first.

Change your beneficiary designations

You may have assets that are set to transfer directly upon your death to your chosen beneficiaries. That’s common with checking accounts, saving accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

Again, this may take some careful consideration and a real heart-to-heart with your intended. You may need to make some decisions about how much you want your new spouse to receive compared to what you leave your children.

Update your powers of attorney

You may have given one or more of your adult children power of attorney over your medical or financial decisions (or both) if you become incapacitated. Now that you’re going to be remarried, you need to decide if you want your spouse to take over those roles with your children as back-ups.

Estate planning can be complicated, but experienced guidance can make revising your plans a smooth process.