Getting married for the second, third or even subsequent time is no longer unusual. Plenty of couples make the choice to create second families after the death of a prior spouse or after a divorce. Regardless of the reason, these families offer people the opportunity for a positive future together. However, blended families may also offer new challenges when it comes to estate planning.
As explained by Forbes, a person often wants to leave their assets to their spouse when they die, assuming that the spouse will pass things onto the kids eventually. However, when the children of the first spouse to die are not the children of the surviving spouse, this can get tricky. If the surviving spouse has their own children from a prior marriage or if other kids were born into the remarriage, the situation gets even more complicated. These realities highlight the importance of estate planning for any remarried couple.
RBC Wealth Management adds that the emotional aspect of estate planning may be as important as the financial one when it comes to blended families. Spouses may want to give consideration to creating a prenuptial agreement in addition to creating a strong estate plan.
When making an estate plan for a blended family, the creative use of trusts may provide the level of flexibility required by the situation far more than a basic will could. Beneficiaries on things like life insurance policies or retirement accounts should also be factored into the equation. Some divorce decrees require one spouse to keep a former spouse named as a retirement account beneficiary.