Using estate planning to prevent strife in blended families

Since your remarriage in Minnesota, your first estate plan has become obsolete. It may be that the challenges of modifying it or creating a new one have you procrastinating about the task, though. We at the law firm of Dunlap & Seeger often provide advice to those who want to ensure that they have made the right estate planning decisions for their blended families.

According to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, there are a number of hurdles you may face as a parent in a blended family. One of the most common may be hard feelings between your minor or adult child and your new spouse. Both may expect you to provide for them in your will, and each may expect you to allot more to him or her than to the other. 

In some cases, leaving a lump sum to each may be a solution, but it may also create a standard of living disparity for your spouse, particularly if he or she is not used to managing a budget. On the other hand, if you allow your assets to pass to your spouse after your death, he or she may outlive your children, or may create an estate plan that keeps them from receiving any of the assets you left behind.

There are many estate planning tools that you may use to keep these negative outcomes from arising. For example, you may take out a life insurance policy and name your child as the beneficiary so that he or she receives financial support. To ensure that your spouse continues to enjoy the benefits of your estate, you may want to create a revocable trust that becomes irrevocable after your death and provides a monthly or yearly income similar to what he or she is used to. 

More information about options to protect your loved ones from disputes over your assets is available on our webpage.

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