Estate Planning For Blended Families
Blended families, in which spouses have children from prior relationships, are commonplace. While the love between you may be as strong as with any other type of family, the fact is that there can be some potential legal complications. This is particularly true when it comes to estate planning. Our Tampa estate planning attorney addresses some common issues that can arise and offers tips on how to protect everyone involved,
Wills And Blended Families
Creating a will is one of the most basic yet important estate planning tasks, particularly if you have a blended family. If you die without a will in place, it is referred to as ‘dying intestate’. Rather than being able to dictate your wishes regarding how property and assets are divided, strict Florida Probate Court rules. This means that only certain people would be entitled to inherit and excludes anyone you are not married to, former spouses, and step-children.
To protect yourself and your family, make creating a will a top priority. In doing this task, carefully consider the following:
- The total amount of both marital and non-marital property and assets you own;
- Any outstanding debts that would need to be paid;
- Who you would want to act as your personal representative in Hillsborough County Probate Court proceedings;
- How you want to provide for your current partner;
- The amount you want to leave to your children;
- Whether you want step-children to be provided for all well.
Other Estate Planning Concerns With Blended Families
In addition to making sure you have a legally valid and updated will in place, there are some other concerns that should be addressed in estate planning. These include:
- Pre or post-marital agreements: These documents typically include provisions for estate planning. Consider how this could impact other documents put in place.
- Business assets: Designate someone to act as your Power of Attorney in the event you become incapacitated. Give careful consideration to what you want to happen to your business in the event of your passing.
- Trusts and guardianships: If you have young children or those with special needs, consider who would act as their guardian and use a trust to make more specific provisions.
- Advance directives: Health care powers of attorney, living wills, and other advance directives communicate your wishes regarding end-of-life care and medical interventions in the event you are unable to communicate on your own.
Advance directives are vitally important in blended families. It helps spare those you love from having to make major decisions during an already difficult time and prevents potential arguments over what you would want.
Our Tampa Estate Planning Attorney Is Here To Help
Estate planning makes things easier for your blended family in case unexpected events happen and ensures the people you love are protected. At Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., we help you put the appropriate legal documents in place. To request a consultation, call or contact us online and request a consultation with our Tampa estate planning attorney today.