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Estate plan considerations in blended families

When two parents decide to join together in matrimony, there are many different variables to consider. The proper distribution of their estate is one of the most important things for them to hash out. 

Merging two families is a delicate process, so parents must handle it properly. There are a few important considerations when creating or modifying an estate plan with a blended family.

Beneficiary designations

Along with updating or establishing beneficiaries within an estate plan, parents should also make sure that the beneficiary designations are correct for any other policies they may have, including life insurance policies and retirement plans. Such policies that ask for beneficiary designations stand separate from an estate plan, so it may be beneficial to update them all at once to make sure they are correct. Particularly in the estate plan, parents should also make sure the guardian designation is up to date for any minors or children with special needs.

Trusts

For those parents who would like to have assets set aside specifically for their children, trusts are a great option. Once property enters into the trust, it is no longer part of the estate. Therefore, the assets have protections in the case of divorce. There are a few different types of trusts that estate holders may choose from to best fit their situation.

Power

The power of attorney designation is critical to the proper maintenance and allocation of an estate. Whether the estate is large or small, or what type of power of attorney an estate holder chooses, the person selected should be trustworthy and respectful of the estate holder's wishes. Also, it is important that the person meets the requirements as set out in Illinois' power of attorney laws

These are a few of the main considerations for estate plans that involve blended families. If you are looking to create an estate plan for your blended family, it may be beneficial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure you fully protect your estate and your loved ones.

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