Have you remarried? Does your new spouse have children that are now part of your family?
If so, it is important to update your estate plan to ensure your new, blended family receives your assets after you pass away. While this can be somewhat confusing, these three tips can help:
1. Check your beneficiary designations
If you created an estate plan during your first marriage, there is a good chance your former spouse is still named to receive your belongings. When you remarry, you should update everything with a beneficiary designation.
This includes your will, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Remember, anything with a direct beneficiary will bypass probate, which means it goes to the person you have named. If you don’t update these documents, then your current family may not get access to your assets.
2. Consider how you want to treat each heir
If you have children from your first marriage, you may want to designate a larger inheritance than what your stepchildren receive (or vice versa). You may need to take your personal each relationship with each of your potential heirs into consideration as you revise your existing estate plans, especially if you have younger children from your second marriage and adult children from your first marriage.
3. Use a trust to accomplish your goals
A trust is a perfect way to ensure your assets and belongings don’t have to go through probate. It can also protect your assets against creditor claims, keep your estate private and more. This is also a great way to put provisions in place that are more flexible so that your trustee can adjust to the varying needs of your heirs.
Protecting your family
When you pass away, you no longer have a say in what happens to your assets and belongings. Now is the time to ensure that your estate plan is updated to reflect your existing family and situation.