Remarriage can be a joyful occasion. This new chapter of your life brings new love and new opportunities. However, if you have children from a previous relationship, it may also bring new challenges. One way to protect your children when you remarry is to create an estate plan to suit your new blended family. What estate planning steps should you take?
Choose a guardian for your children if they are underage.
Who do you trust to give your children the love, support and guidance they need if you were to die unexpectedly? Will your children’s other parent care for them if you are unable to do so? If your previous spouse passed away, do you want your children’s stepparent to care for them? Is a family member or friend the best person to uphold your values and ensure that your child is properly supported?
Naming a guardian in your will allows you to answer these questions. Rather than allowing the courts to choose who will raise your child, you can take an active part in that decision and choose the person you trust most. This is especially important if your family and relationships have changed significantly since you created the previous version of your estate plan.
Protect your children’s inheritance.
You and your spouse each bring different assets to your newly-formed household, but who will receive them if one of you passes away? If you do not have an estate plan or have not created your estate plan with your blended family in mind, those possessions might not go to the person you want to receive them. You may even unintentionally disinherit your children.
As CNBC notes, establishing a trust is one estate planning solution that could ensure that your children receive the inheritance you intend for them. This trust can provide for your spouse if you pass away before them while still preserving your children’s inheritance. It can also manage other funds like life insurance payouts.
If you wonder what estate planning steps you should take to protect your blended family, consider speaking to an attorney. They can help you explore your options and create an estate plan that reflects this new chapter of your life.