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How blended families should approach estate planning

Florida parents who have biological children from a previous marriage may not want to leave everything directly to their current spouses when they pass on. This is because the surviving spouse may not give those children their fair share of those assets in spite of their claims to do so. Therefore, it may be a good idea to put assets in a trust that the children can benefit from.

Alternatively, it may be a good idea to leave assets directly to a biological child upon passing. Doing so means that he or she receives an asset in a timely manner instead of having to wait until the surviving spouse also passes on. Those who are seeking a compromise may want to create a trust that the surviving spouse can draw an income from while alive. When that person passes on, the children will receive whatever is left inside of it.

In addition to crafting a trust that meets a person's needs, it is also important to pick the right trustee. This person or entity should have experience dealing with blended families and the issues that it may create from an estate planning perspective. Finally, it is important to decide who is in charge of medical decisions as that can be a source of conflict between stepparents and children while a person is still alive.

Individuals who are part of blended families may need to use many documents to create an estate plan. In addition to standard wills, it may be possible to use trusts or beneficiary designations to ensure that assets are distributed properly. An attorney may help to create or review an estate plan. Documents may be added or edited if necessary to help a people achieve their goals.

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