Blended families are becoming more common in Colorado. This family structure consists of a couple and all their children, from both their current and prior relationships. Blended families can be vibrant and supportive, but they also pose special challenges for parents because of their complexity. One of these is estate planning.
Deciding who gets what
Making an estate plan is crucial for any adult in Colorado. If you die intestate, your family will have to go through a lengthy probate process. Leaving a will means that you can name an executor, state where you want your assets to go and name a guardian for any minor children.
In blended families, wills can pose a special challenge. Leaving all of your money to your current spouse means that they may not play fair when it comes to the children. They may cut anyone who’s not related to them out. Luckily, there are ways you can prevent this from happening.
It can be a good idea to leave something to your biological children directly in your will. You may also decide to leave something to your stepchildren. You might even think about leaving the use of an asset such as your home to your spouse for their lifetime only, and then it may pass to your biological children.
Using trusts is a way to accomplish some of these goals. You may even decide to set up trusts while your children are still young. It’s possible to disburse money to them only when they reach a specified age or milestone, even while you’re still living.
Blended families enrich the lives of many Coloradans, but they do make estate planning slightly more complicated. At the end of the day, there are ways to manage these special considerations and ensure that everyone gets taken care of.