Everyone can benefit from some type of estate planning, but this process becomes all the more important in the event that you’re blending families. The best time to handle this situation is now, before any of the necessary plans must be implemented. Estate planning is not always easy, but partnering with the right lawyer can make the process easier to manage. A knowledgeable lawyer can go a long way towards helping you figure out next steps.
One of the most important things to remember is to update beneficiary designations for accounts like your life insurance policy or your IRA. Even updating these details inside your estate plan doesn’t mean that it overrules what’s listed in your account paperwork- whatever your insurance company or IRA has on file will be the information referenced. If you have a child or former spouse listed as the beneficiary to your IRA, for example, then that individual will receive the assets if something happens to you. This means your current spouse may be ignored entirely. Getting remarried should prompt you to review all this material.
Another good option for your estate planning purposes is to create a living trust. This can help your loved ones avoid the process of probate while also giving you more information about how your assets should be distributed. The trust could even give your surviving spouse income for the rest of his or her life if it’s structured properly.
A prenuptial agreement may be the final planning tool you can use in order to protect yourself with a blended family. Assets entering complicated blended family situations may need special planning opportunities that could be handled by an experienced estate planning lawyer in NJ.
Combining two different families is an exciting occasion, but it’s one that warrants insight from an experienced lawyer.