3 Estate Planning Tips For Blended Families

Even if your blended family appears to get along now, there is no guarantee that the harmony will last after you have passed away. In fact, there is a possibility that disagreements about how to divide your assets will tear the family apart. Fortunately, you can take action now to limit disputes between your blended family members.

Review Your Insurance Policies

One task some neglect following marriage is to review their insurance policies. Now that you have combined families with another person, it is important that your policies provide protection for your old and new family members. 

Ensure that you have the beneficiaries you want listed. If you feel that the coverage you need is not enough for your family, consider purchasing more. Talk to your spouse about what is sufficient. You can also confer with an estate planning attorney, such as Albert & Slater PS, or insurance broker to gauge your insurance needs. 

List Your Sentimental Items and Designate the Recipient

If there are certain items that you want to be sure goes to specific family members, it is important that you create a will that details who should get what. For instance, if you want your natural children to keep your family's heirlooms, you need to detail this in your will. 

Failing to take the time now to designate the recipients of special items can lead to arguments later. This task can seem tedious, but it is a great way to ensure that each family member receives what he or she should.

Consider Setting Up a Trust

There are several great reasons for setting up a trust to handle your assets. A trust can help distribute assets, such as money, to minor children and their caretakers. This is especially important if you have some concerns about what happens to  your children when you pass away.

A trust can also be used to avoid probate. Probate can tie up your assets for a considerable amount of time. During that period, your beneficiaries will be left without legal ownership of assets that they could potentially need right then.

Establishing a trust can also help cut down on the taxes that your beneficiaries have to pay from the gifts they receive. It is also a challenge for someone to contest the details of a trust. 

Work with your family's estate planning attorney to ensure that the best possible decisions for your family are made. The attorney can help you navigate state laws and also help distribute your assets wisely.