Estate planning is essential, whatever your family circumstances; however, when you have a blended family, it is even more important.
Second spouses, biological children and step-children can find themselves in conflict with regard to their loved one’s final wishes. Not only does this exacerbate grief at an already stressful time but it is also likely to be costly and time-consuming.
If you have remarried and have children from a previous marriage it may not be as simple as leaving everything to your surviving spouse in the case of your death. While you may expect them to honour your wishes – providing for your children and their children equally – there is a risk that they could amend their Will after your death or remarry and fail to execute a new Will. This could result in your estate passing to your spouse’s biological children or that he or she could remarry or have future children.
If, on the other hand, you have step-children who you would want to inherit then it is imperative that you make a Will as dying intestate would mean that only your spouse and blood relatives could benefit from your estate.
You should be able to provide for your intended beneficiaries in the way that best reflects your intentions. It is also important to consider the implications of inheritance tax. A properly drafted Will incorporating a trust can enable you to provide for a spouse during his or her lifetime whilst still making sure that on their death your estate passes to your children and not anyone the spouse may choose to leave it to. This not only protects your assets for your children but can also ensure your estate passes in a tax-efficient manner.
For more information, get in touch with our team here at Pannone Corporate on 0800 131 3355.