Everything can be a little more complicated as you bring two families together: where you will live, how your kids interact, how you work with exes and even your estate plan. However, there are several steps that you can consider to help your estate plan work for your new family.
Talk about it before: the prenup
Be open and discuss your estates honestly, including your assets and debts. A prenuptial agreement may well accompany this conversation. Though it may not feel like the most romantic thing to discuss, a prenup can be an integral piece in ensuring that your family is cared for as you wish.
A prenup can help you determine how to deal with your property and debts. This includes what will be separate if you will be combining bank accounts and how you will split assets amongst children from different families. You can discuss what may happen if your marriage doesn’t work out and how to proceed when one party passes away.
Double-check: dealing with the ex
During your first marriage, you may have created an estate plan together. Though you may have changed it after your separation, it’s important to double-check your documents to ensure that everything is in order. Specifically, look at the beneficiaries on your retirement documents or others that have designations built-in, because these will trump any designations made in your will.
These are only a few of the ways that estate planning can help you create a blended family. Especially when children and exes are involved, it can be beneficial that you and your spouse address your new lives and the future rather than jumping in without making plans.