Planning for the future is an important step for all Michigan families, but it may be especially important for non-traditional or blended families. Having documents drafted and plans in place can help prevent difficult or complicated situations, and it can provide you with confidence, knowing your interests are secure. If you are in a second or subsequent marriage, it is in your interests to have the legal and financial protections in place that you need.
Blended families often include children from previous marriages, as well as two spouses who may have their own debt, previously owned assets and complex financial concerns. With a carefully crafted estate plan, you can decide what will happen to your assets after your passing and plan for the care and support of your loved ones. Every estate plan is different, and you can create one that suits the needs of your blended family.
What should be in your plan?
One of the biggest mistakes adults make regarding their estate plans is failing to update their existing plans after a major life change. This means after a birth, death, divorce or remarriage, they should adjust their plans in order to reflect their current life circumstances. The following are common mistakes you will want to make when estate planning for a blended family:
- You did not change beneficiaries of certain accounts, such as your 401(k).
- You are trying to treat all heirs equally, which may be impossible and lead to complications.
- You did not update the terms of your will after your divorce and remarriage.
- You made important estate planning decisions without proper guidance and input.
- You did not take advantage of opportunities to make gifts during your lifetime.
It is also important to make sure your advance directives reflect your new circumstances, ensuring that you have the final say over certain health care matters and who will be making decisions on your behalf.
Don’t delay in planning for the future
There is no time to delay in ensuring you have the right estate planning tools in place. If the unexpected happens while you still have out-of-date estate plans, it could leave your loved ones to navigate a complicated financial and legal process. Blended families have unique needs that you can specifically address in your plans, allowing you to accomplish the goals that you have for your property and assets in the future.