When you have a blended family, it's important that you take the time to do what you can to protect your children's inheritances. In a blended family, estate planning can become a challenge, as former spouses and various estranged relatives may try to take advantage of your estate.
If you are on your second marriage and have children with both of your ex-spouses, it's important to protect your children's inheritances directly. Some ways to do this include:
- Reviewing the state laws that govern your assets
- Talking to your former and current spouses about your obligations to each of them
- Designating your beneficiaries in updates wills and trusts
One thing that your attorney can help you do is to place your assets into trusts. For example, if you have two children from your first marriage who are estranged and two in your current marriage, you may decide only to leave inheritances to your children closest to you. If you have no will and your spouse has passed, your children may be next in line to split your assets. Those children would include the children from your first marriage.
Make sure you update your will and designate specific trusts to those who you want to have receive inheritances. It's always a good idea to be specific when detailing who you want to have receive an inheritance after you pass.
Our site has more on inheritances and what to expect when you start estate planning. This can be slightly complex if you have a blended family, so it's best to get started as soon as possible.