You may not realize how easy it is to accidentally disinherit your own children if you’re in a blended family. Your Will might leave an inheritance to your children, but if everything is owned in joint tenancy your Will won’t make a difference. In that case, everything would go to your new spouse, leaving your children without any inheritance at all.

There are a number of issues to consider in a blended family: what percent of assets should go to each spouse’s children? What’s a fair split of retirement plans and equity in the home? Should you give something to your kids when you die, or leave everything to your surviving spouse, trusting that your spouse won’t later disinherit your kids? There are no one-size-fits-all answers for any of these questions.

Planning for a blended family requires a delicate balance of issues. Often, we don’t want to disinherit our own children but we also don’t want to leave our new spouse out on the street. A good estate planning attorney will walk you through all of these issues and help make sure your goals are met, whether you’re a brand new blended family or you’ve been together for 20 years.

For more information about planning for your unique blended family, schedule a Personal Consultation or join us at one of our upcoming Estate Planning Workshops today!

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