Because divorce is fairly common nowadays, so is remarriage, and parents of blended families face unique challenges. Depending on the ages of the children involved, some issues might revolve around discipline, boundaries, or finances. Couples who are a part of a blended family may also have a harder time drafting their estate planning documents. Fortunately, they can simplify the process by turning to a seasoned will attorney who handles estates of all sizes. They can also review the inheritance laws in their state, so they know which issues they may need to address.
What Parents of Blended Families Should Consider When Organizing Their Estates
1. Anything Can Happen
When organizing estates, it’s essential to consider all possible eventualities. This means having a plan in place in case something happens to you or your spouse. The guardians who end up caring for any minor children in either scenario will depend on whether their other parents are still involved in their lives. It’s important to consider all potential arrangements when creating a will.
2. Stepchildren Do Not Have Inheritance Rights
In most states, including Oregon, stepchildren are not entitled to a portion of their stepparent’s estate unless the deceased officially adopted them. Therefore, if you want to ensure any stepchildren are taken care of financially in case something happens, include them in your will. If you die without a will, only biological children and your spouse at the time of death will receive property.
3. The Documents Are Not Stagnant
If you recently remarried, you probably already know the importance of reviewing your estate planning documents periodically, as well as after every change in circumstances. After joining a blended family and devising a new estate plan, continue revisiting these documents occasionally. Any time you experience a major life transition—or someone in your new family does—it may be necessary to update your will.
If you and your spouse want to create a comprehensive estate plan that will ultimately protect all of your children, turn to Stayton Law. In addition to organizing estates, their team is proud to help clients throughout Willamette Valley resolve complicated legal issues that fall under family law, criminal law, and employment law. Visit the website to learn more about the history of the firm, or call (503) 769-7741 to schedule an initial consultation today.