Many Oregon residents are on their second or third marriages and have blended families. Focusing on estate planning might seem simple, but there’s more to consider with your unique family dynamic. These are some tips that can be followed.
Change your will
With a blended family, you should change your last will and testament to prepare your estate. You will want to ensure that the document is amended to include anything pertinent to your current spouse and your children. For example, you may want to leave a specific asset to a particular blood relative. Meanwhile, you might not want to leave certain property to your stepchildren.
Update your beneficiaries
Updating your beneficiaries is crucial, or you could end up leaving the funds from your retirement account or life insurance policy to your former spouse. On all estate planning documents that include beneficiaries, you might want to replace their name with that of your current spouse. You should also select a contingent beneficiary in the event that your spouse dies before you.
Update powers of attorney and health care directives
The last thing you want is your former spouse handling your financial and medical affairs if you become incapacitated. You’ll want to update estate plan documents like financial and health care powers of attorney and add your new spouse as your agent. Do the same thing with your health care directive to prevent your former spouse from handling your medical care in the direst scenario.
If you have children from your previous marriage, setting up a trust is a good way to protect assets you intend to leave to them. Choose a trustee to oversee things after you’re gone so that they can distribute the property to your children at the right time. You can also create a trust for your spouse to leave them an inheritance. Having separate trusts for adult children and your spouse might be necessary.