Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death.
Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of family squabbles by using techniques designed to preserve wealth for your heirs in the manner you want, with a minimum of estate tax erosion, if any. Here are four examples:
- Will. Your will generally determines who gets what, when, where, and how. It may be combined with “inter vivos trusts” established during your lifetime or be used to create testamentary trusts, or both. While you can include a few tweaks for your blended family through a codicil to the will, if the intended changes are substantive — such as removing an ex-spouse and adding a new spouse — you should meet with your estate planning attorney to have a new will prepared.