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Blended Families

(Preparing for life after death)

 

This is a discussion that couples who have blended their families need to have. It’s not that we are planning to die, but let’s be realistic, no one lives forever. We need to discuss wills, health choices, life insurance, who will handle our estate, bills, and anything else that comes to mind to aid our spouse in going on without us. Everyone needs a will, a power of attorney and a living will.

 

As of 2012, approximately fifty percent (50%) of first marriages end in divorce. Of those divorced from their first spouse, over half will remarry. This trend has resulted in a large number of blended families, who have special estate planning needs. Some careful estate planning can address these families’ special needs. The following steps will help you estate plan with a blended family.

 

  • Determine your goals and priorities. Good estate planning requires a specific goal and ordered priorities so that the best plan for your situation can be developed. Some common estate planning goals include Tax savings ,(saving money on estate, gift, capital gains, generation-skipping, and inheritance tax can be a motivating factor for taking the time to estate plan. A vast number of trusts offer tax savings as well as control of your assets even after death.

  • Protecting a party’s own children. Protecting one’s children can become especially important with blended families. Ensuring that at least a portion of your estate passes to your children instead of your spouse may require a little planning.

  • Providing for a spouse. Making sure that a second or third spouse is taken care of is a common estate-planning goal. Ensuring that a second or third, or even a fifth, spouse receives the portion of your estate that you want them to receive requires estate planning. A common misconception is that if you die without a Will, all of your estate passes to your spouse.

  • Update your designated beneficiaries. 

  • Close or re-title all joint accounts (savings accounts, checking accounts, etc.)

  • Decide whether you and your spouse will execute reciprocal Wills. 

  • Revoke previous powers of attorney.

 

for more information please view the following websites:

http://www.fizerbeck.com/blended; 

http://www.trust4u.com/Resources/BlendedFamilies.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QTIP_TRUST

http://www.wikihow.com/Estate-Plan-With-Blended-Families

http://www.nolo.com/products/estate-planning-for-blended-families-smar.html

Dr. J. G. Johnson

Issues of Life Conquered

www.issuesoflifeconquered.com
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