Living in a blended family has a number of challenges. You may struggle to build and maintain relationships with your spouse’s children and finding a balance of time sharing with each side of the family can be difficult. But another aspect of a blended family that you can’t overlook is estate planning.
The dangers of intestate succession
One reason you shouldn’t overlook estate planning in a blended family is because of how the law dictates that your assets will be distributed upon your passing absent an estate plan. Under Kentucky law, your spouse will inherit a significant portion of your estate through intestate succession. That may not sound so bad, but without additional parameters on those assets your spouse will be free to do with them as he or she wishes. This means that a large chunk of your estate could end up passing down to your spouse’s children, thereby largely cutting your children out of the picture.
Ways to retain control
If you want to make sure that your children receive the inheritance that you want them to obtain, then you may need to develop a sound estate planning strategy. One option is to use a remainder trust so that you can specify how much of your estate your spouse will receive and where those assets, meaning the remainder of that portion of your inherited estate, will go once your spouse passes away.
Keep in mind that there are a whole host of other ways that you can ensure that your loved ones and your estate are protected regardless of your family dynamics. That’s why it may be best for you to discuss your set of circumstances with an experienced attorney who can advise you and guide your through the process.