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Estate planning for blended families

Estate planning is often straightforward, but there are some cases that are a bit more complicated. One of these instances is when you have a blended family. You have to determine how to set up your estate so that everyone gets what you feel they should receive.

There are many different ways that you can ensure your estate is set up in a way that lets your heirs and beneficiaries know exactly what you want and in a manner that makes it as easy as possible for them to handle everything.

Beneficiary designations on financial accounts

Because your loved ones might need access to cash when you pass away, you need to make sure that you have appropriate people named as the beneficiary on financial accounts. Many financial accounts, including checking accounts and retirement accounts, have a payable on death designation.

You need to make sure that you have the correct person named on these. It is all too easy to forget when you get a divorce or get remarried. However, this is a very important part of your estate plan. In fact, it is a good idea to review this information at least once per year.

Create and review your will

Your will lets your heirs know what they will get from your assets that haven't been placed in trusts. For example, you can decide who will get the butterfly stained glass ornament that everyone want. By making your will as clear and concise, you can make things easier for your loved ones.

When you are dealing with a blended family, the will can also ensure that heirlooms from one side of the family remain in that side of the family. You can also use trusts to do this for assets of considerable value.

Set up trusts

Trusts are another important way that you can ensure things go to the correct person. There are many different types of trusts, so reviewing each and the purpose they serve can help to ensure things are handled properly after your passing.

If you have any special needs children, this is an important step you can take to ensure they are cared for after you are gone. A special needs trust will save the person from losing government benefits due to the value of an inheritance while still helping to care for him or her. Even if you think that you can count on your new spouse to care for your special needs child, this might be more of an issue than you realize.

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