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Blended families bring up questions around estate planning

California families come in so many wonderful varieties, including blended families. Since many parents in these families have both biological and stepchildren, there may be some questions about how to handle estate planning when the time comes. Should biological children get a larger share of an estate? Should a stepparent inherit the assets of a spouse before that person’s biological children? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are guidelines that can help blended families determine what choices make the most sense for their particular situation.

Splitting assets isn’t always easy

Many estate owners will say they want to do what is “fair” for everyone involved. The problem is figuring out what fair means to them. For some, that might mean equally dividing assets between all children, regardless of biology, but others may decide based on the needs of these individual children and their relationship to them. Whatever the choice may be, the estate owner can try to be open and honest with everyone involved to reduce the chance of disagreements.

For some families, establishing a trust is a sensible option. Designated assets can go into a revocable living trust that offers a bit more oversight and guidance when it is time to distribute the assets. The appointed trustee can also help prevent arguments, whether the trustee is a family member or a professional designated to the task.

Showing care for loved ones of all kinds

For those with questions, an estate planning attorney here in California may be able to help. An attorney with this type of specialized knowledge can help an estate owner determine what is most important to the individual and his or her family, especially if they are part of a blended family. A comprehensive estate plan can be a wonderful way to show loved ones that they are cared for no matter what.

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