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Blended families make estate planning more complex

It may be possible for blended families in Georgia and elsewhere to coexist peacefully. However, it is important to make sure that all potential beneficiaries are accounted for in an estate plan. If a person chooses to leave everything to a spouse, there is no guarantee that the spouse will pass on assets to the deceased individual's biological children. Instead, it may be best to create a trust that benefits a biological child after the surviving spouse passes.

The trust can be set up so that a surviving spouse receives a regular income while alive. Trusts may also be ideal in the event that this person gets married again in the future. This is because the terms of the trust can remain in place until it fulfills its purpose. It is critical to pick an individual who will excel in the role of trustee.

A trustee will need to be able to balance the interests of the spouse with the interests of an individual's children. To make the trustee's job easier, it may be a good idea for a parent to leave some assets to a biological child as soon as he or she passes. In addition to naming a trustee, it will important to decide who will make medical decisions on a person's behalf. In some cases, it may be necessary to choose between a spouse and a child.

Estate planning is important for almost all adults regardless of their age or how much money they have. However, those who in blended families might have even more incentive to engage in the estate planning process. An attorney may be able to provide insight into how wills, trusts and other documents can help a person meet his or her goals both now and after passing on.

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