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How do you make an estate plan when you have a blended family?

How do you make an estate plan when you have a blended family?

Estate planning for a blended family

There are many ways to estate plan for a blended family and below are four of the most typical ways to address estate planning for a blended family:

Reciprocal wills:  Each spouse makes a will to provide for the surviving spouse and then the children/step-children.  This is the simplest form of estate planning but leaves the risk that the surviving spouse revokes their will and leaves nothing to the children of the spouse that predeceased them.

Independent (non-reciprocal) wills: Each spouse makes a will independently, without involving the other spouse.  The will of each spouse may or may not provide for the surviving spouse and may or may not provide for the children from a prior marriage or step-children.

Testamentary trust:  The spouses could create wills with testamentary trusts where the decedent’s trust is funded at death with separate property and the decedent’s one-half of community property and becomes irrevocable.  The surviving spouse benefits from the trust if needed but the remainder of the estate is distributed to the decedent’s children upon the death of the surviving spouse.

Life insurance:  Life insurance allows for providing something to a surviving spouse or surviving children even if the estate does not provide for them.  However, if someone has waited until they are older or in poor health, life insurance may not be an option.

If you have a blended family and would like to discuss options for your estate, we would be happy to help you.  Call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC to schedule a time to discuss your plan, (830) 625-9300.