Individuals in blended families in Illinois understandably face unique financial and emotional challenges in their daily lives. However, it is also critical that they take time to plan their futures through estate planning. Estate planning can help them to protect their assets long term and ultimately leave the legacies they desire. Here are a few tips for navigating the estate planning process as a member of a blended family.
When asset owners in blended families are developing estate plans, they should ideally strive to be equitable. This does not mean that the stepchildren and the biological children should automatically receive equal portions of the assets to be handed down to them. Rather, the parent who is responsible for distributing the assets would be wise to carefully evaluate the children’s unique needs and pass down the assets accordingly.
It is also paramount that individuals who are creating estate plans for their blended families effectively communicate their wishes in their documents. This means making their goals clear in their plans. It also means involving the affected family members in the estate planning process so that everyone is on the same page regarding how assets will be divided.
Consult an estate planning attorney
Trying to figure out how to develop an estate plan can certainly feel overwhelming. However, an attorney in Illinois can help an asset owner to create a will, a trust and/or other documents that will ensure that his or her assets end up in the right hands in the event of his or her death. A well-thought-out estate plan will accurately reflect the individual’s wishes while also protecting his or her loved ones’ best interests long term.