Berman & Asbel, LLP

Estate concerns for blended families

Making estate planning decisions early is generally a wise choice as long as people review these documents periodically throughout the years to see if any changes are needed. Those with blended families in Pennsylvania should also consider how to divide an estate so that each spouse's heirs receive what is meant for them. This involves addressing smaller possessions as well as big assets like houses and bank accounts.

Many people often promise belongings to family members or friends without listing these items in a will. This might not cause problems in all families, but conflicts may arise between children and a new spouse when there is no actual evidence of a decedent's wishes. Confusion about who the intended beneficiaries are could still exist when both parties die. If both parties have children from previous relationships, the family of the spouse who survives the longest may claim that everything is theirs.

Wills can be used to make a benefactor's wishes clear, but those who are remarrying might also consider using a prenuptial agreement. This helps both partners ensure that their large assets and smaller possessions go the rightful parties. One occasion for reviewing estate planning documents occurs when a couple divorces. An individual could need to change a will and any accounts with beneficiaries so that a previous spouse no longer inherits the assets.

Keeping up to date with estate planning matters often makes things easier on a family when a loved one passes away. Using wills or trusts and remembering to make necessary changes could be easier when one has an attorney's assistance.

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