What Every Blended Family in CA Should Know About Estate Planning

  • Posted on: Jun 26 2021
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While divorce and remarriage can sometimes be the best solution, blended families often have it a bit more difficult when it comes to estate planning. That’s why it’s so important to have an open dialogue with your future spouse about your estate planning prior to getting married again. Here is what every blended family in California should know about estate planning.

1. Be open to a prenuptial agreement.

When a lot of people think about prenuptial agreements, they view them as individuals who have doubts about the success of the marriage. However, even the most secure couples should be open to a prenup. This is because prenups are in place to protect your goals and finances. In other words, when you have no doubts about the marriage you should have no issue protecting your goals. Although they are great and encouraged for first marriages, they are even more important with any subsequent ones since your goals and finances can be a bit more complicated. 

2. Establish which property is whose.

Another important thing to do prior to your marriage and throughout the course of the marriage is to establish which property is yours, which is your spouse’s, and which belongs to both of you. This is also a great way of discussing your finances and what you each expect to contribute to any joint accounts.

It’s often a great idea to have a separate account to pay for personal expenses. This may also include expenses for children from previous relationships. By establishing which property belongs to whom, and your expectations for contributions, you can help to prevent any financial troubles or misunderstandings.

3. Keep medical documents up to date.

When you have to make medical decisions for anyone it can be stressful, but when you have two separate parties trying to make medical decisions for one person it can be even harder. When you don’t include your end-of-life decisions in writing, two parties, such as children from a previous marriage and a current spouse may be at odds in trying to decide what to do. When it’s already such an emotionally taxing time, it can make things worse. That’s why it’s always best to keep your medical documents up-to-date – especially if you are remarrying. 

4. Revisit your will and trust.

Money can definitely bring out the worst in people, but it’s actually not what most families end up fighting over. Some of the very worst arguments between family members or loved ones of a deceased individual have to do with the distribution of sentimental possessions. For this reason, it’s so important to continue to revisit your will and trust over time. Again, this is especially true when you are considering a new marriage. In your trust, you should include specific details as to who you wish to receive what.

Also, there are certain individuals whom you may wish to leave assets to who would not receive them unless you specifically state so in your will and trust. For instance, the state will never award your assets to your stepchildren or former stepchildren. For this reason, if you want them to have something you must include it. 

5. Contact a qualified CA estate planning attorney.

Estate planning can certainly be complicated, but more so when blended families are involved. That’s why it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney who will work hard to ensure that your wishes are properly protected. 

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Helps Those in CA with their Estate Planning Needs

At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we know how important it is to protect that for which you’ve worked so hard. We will help you to obtain the protection that you need and to ensure the security of your loved ones. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate Planning