These days, step-relatives are more common than ever before. In fact, a
2011 study from the Pew Research Center indicates that at least one out
of every five Americans now have a step-relative, and the U.S. Census
Bureau states that there are now more blended families than traditional
nuclear families. For these people and their families, there are often
many more complications that arise during the estate planning process.
Striking a Balance
The largest and most obvious challenge when estate planning for a blended
family is determining who gets what. Most people wish to take care of
their biological children from a previous relationship, but also want
to make sure that their current spouse and step-children are cared for.
Without a clear estate plan, these situations can get notoriously contentious
after your death, as children and step-children battle over your estate in court.
These situations are highly delicate, as it’s common for family members
to feel slighted or less loved if they are to receive a smaller share
of the estate. For this reason, many people put off their estate planning
until it’s too late, which ends up causing more family drama in
the long run.
Your Ex Can Inherit Everything
One of the most important reasons to have a comprehensive estate plan is
to disinherit your ex. Of course, this only applies if you truly do not
wish to leave them anything. Unless you specifically remove your ex as
the beneficiary of your estate plan, they could potentially inherit much
of your property after your death – even if you have a will which
states otherwise. Furthermore, failure to disinherit your ex could potentially
lead to them getting executorship of your estate, allowing them to manage
the money you leave for your kids and step-kids.
It’s Never Too Early to Begin Estate Planning
Regardless of your net worth or your position in life, you can protect
your rights and wishes through a comprehensive estate plan. At the Law
Offices of Dan Chern, P.C., our experienced Plano estate planning attorney
can skillfully guide you through the process when you hire our firm.
Don’t wait to start building your estate plan. Call (972) 200-3078 today!