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Estate Planning when You Form a Blended Family

Butler Law June 13, 2022

There are many people in South Carolina who find themselves in second or third marriages after an earlier divorce or death. They may have children from their first or another earlier marriage, and this creates extra estate planning considerations. When people are considering marrying again, a discussion about estate plans can help people care for each other and their children.

Check Beneficiary Designations

One of the most common issues that people face when making an estate plan is that they never change beneficiaries to retirement funds, life insurance policies or other items that pass through non-probate transfer. They may leave their former spouse as the beneficiary of these policies without realizing that these documents do not change automatically after a divorce. One of the first steps people can take is to ensure their beneficiary designations are up to date, whether they are leaving a specific asset to a current spouse or to a child.

Keep Your Will Updated

Other issues that can arise involve not changing your will or trust to reflect your current situation. You can specifically designate how you want to pass your estate to your surviving spouse and your children, avoiding confusion at a difficult time for your family. Both you and your current spouse can consult with an estate lawyer in order to ensure that both sets of children are protected as part of the plan and appropriate arrangements are made for each other.

Trusts can also help to address a number of specific situations. For example, there may be a child with a disability, who could benefit from a special needs trust to provide for their needs while preserving their eligibility for Medicare and other supportive programs. In all cases, choosing the right estate plan can ease your road forward in planning for a new marriage.