Why Estate Planning is Important in Blended Families
Cincinnati estate planning lawyers help people in all different life circumstances to make appropriate plans for their future. In addition to providing advice on issues like retirement planning and financial planning, we also help you to consider end-of-life and legacy issues. This means that one of the key services we provide involves helping you to determine what should happen to your money and possessions after you pass away.
Making a legacy plan is important for everyone because it is essential that you control who will inherit all of the wealth that you have worked so hard to acquire. However, it can be especially important if you have a more complex family situation than the traditional nuclear family situation. Zimmer Law Firm has experience helping people with all different kinds of family relationships and we are skilled at helping clients in blended families to make effective use of legal tools and take the right legal steps to protect everyone that they love. Give us a call today to find out more.
Why is Estate Planning Important in Blended Families?
When you are a member of a blended family, you may face more complexities in your estate planning process than people who are in other family situations. You may have children from a prior relationship and your partner may have children from a prior relationship. This can complicate your estate plan in many ways.
Many married couples will leave all of their wealth and property to each other. Not only does this help to avoid estate tax since there is no tax on a transfer of assets to a spouse, but it also simplifies the estate planning process. If you simply leave everything to your spouse, you don’t have to worry a lot about dividing assets up among different family members and you don’t have to worry about depriving your spouse of shared assets during the remainder of his or her life– which could occur if you left some of your property to anyone other than your spouse.
If you and your spouse share all of your children, you may not have any worries about leaving your estate to your spouse since you likely assume that your spouse will leave assets to your children or grandchildren when he or she passes away. Of course, this is not a given, but it is pretty common. However, if you are a member of a blended family, you and your spouse – or both – may have children from outside of the marriage.
You likely want to ensure that your children are provided for in case you pass away first, but this can create complexities. If you pass away first and your estate plan indicates that your wealth should transfer to your children, your husband or wife wouldn’t be able to use those assets during the remainder of his or her life because thy would be given to your kids. If you left everything to your children, your spouse could also exercise his or her spousal elective share and thwart your wishes by taking a share of your property that is allowed by law. This could eventually mean that the assets your spouse inherited under the spousal elective share end up transferring to a person of your spouse’s choosing instead of to your children.
There are ways that you can make sure that your children inherit and that your spouse is still protected during his or her life. You simply need to work with an experienced attorney who understands the ins-and-outs of the estate planning process and who can help you to address any special issues that arise as a result of the fact that you are a member of a blended family.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Estate Planning Lawyers
Whether you are married, are single, have kids or do not have kids, you need to make an estate plan that is appropriate for you so you can control your legacy instead of letting default intestacy law determine what happens to everything you have worked to acquire for your whole life. Zimmer Law Firm knows the ins and outs of the estate planning process and we will discuss your goals and help you to make a comprehensive and enforceable plan to achieve them.
To learn more about how our Cincinnati estate planning lawyers can help you with your plans, join us for a free seminar today. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to get personalized advice with making your estate plan that is right for you and your loved ones. Call today to get your plans in place.