When families in Florida are joined in second or third marriages, blended families are formed. Along with the excitement and adjustments to get used to the new dynamics with children of both spouses, and potential children together, estate planning is sometimes forgotten. Every blended family is different and has unique estate planning needs to address. The best place to start may be a prenuptial agreement that is probably the most effective way of protecting the children of each spouse while also defining each spouse's financial responsibilities and rights in the marriage.
Another essential part of a blended family's new life is updating the estate plans. Each spouse must take the time to update beneficiaries to make sure an ex-spouse does not receive life insurance, annuities and retirement plans that are meant for the new spouse or the children. Care is also necessary when deciding about appointing legal guardians for minor children. It might be a problem if a former spouse is left in control of a minor child's inheritance.
Spouses in blended families may want to be thoughtful about titling property to make sure their children are not unintentionally disinherited. If one spouse dies, the other will become sole owner of any property they owned as joint tenants. Revising all other estate planning documents is another thing not to leave unaddressed. Wills, revocable trusts, executors, trustees, legal and medical powers of attorney and more will need reviewing to make sure family heirlooms go to the intended recipients.
These aspects of starting a blended family are often put off for later because they seem so complicated. Florida residents who are starting a new life together might find comfort knowing that help is available. An experienced floridaelderlaw.net/Estate-Planning.shtml">estate planning attorney can assist with reviewing all existing estate plans and draft replacement documents where necessary.
Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Keeping it "Brady"", Carole M. Bass, Lori Douglass, Accessed on May 19, 2017