A lot of people in the Greenbelt area think that they either don’t need an estate plan or that they can get by with the most basic of estate planning documents. However, this approach can leave your estate and your loved ones in dangerous territory. This may be especially true if you’re part of a blended family.
So why is a lack of an estate plan in a blended family so problematic? Read on to learn more.
The risk of intestate succession
If you pass away without an estate plan, your estate will be distributed in accordance with state law. So, if you leave behind a spouse and children, then your spouse will inherit half of your estate and your children will inherit the rest. If your children are adults, then your spouse will receive the first $15,000 of your estate plus half of the remainder, with your children inheriting the rest.
This type of distribution can be problematic in a blended family for several reasons. To start, there’s no obligation on your spouse’s part to leave her portion of the inherited estate to you side of the family. This means that without a sound estate plan, a significant portion of your estate could end up following your spouse’s family. This is typically the biggest concern in a blended family when it comes to estate planning, but you may face other concerns, too.
Properly addressing estate planning in your blended family
Fortunately, there are estate planning strategies that can address any concerns you may have with asset distribution in your blended family. For example, you can choose to leave your estate to your spouse until he or she passes away, at which time the remainder of the trust will be distributed to your children.
What’s important to remember is that the estate planning process can be custom-tailored to suit your wishes. That’s why many Marylanders find it beneficial to walk through their vision for their estate and their loved ones with an attorney who can help guide them through the estate planning process.