A blended family is a common structure these days, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to think about some specific points and how things will differ because you're in a blended family. One thing that you need to think about is what you're going to do about your estate plan. You can't set things up like you would for a family in which both parents are still living together.
Many adults know that they need to create an estate plan, but some might not realize that they need to update it once it's made. This is a mistake because there's a chance that certain points in the estate plan will need to be changed. There are several situations that can occur that could lead to this.
Planning ahead is a great way to protect yourself, your beneficiaries and your heirs. Some people put off estate planning because they believe that it is costly or time-intensive to create an estate plan, but the truth is that it can be pretty simple and affordable.
Historically, the only assets that we left behind were in a financial and physical form, therefore a will accounted for physical possessions. In today's modern world, assets and information that belong to us are also present online. This information can hold sentimental value as well as financial value.
Trusts are a great way to help plan your estate and to help your assets avoid probate at the end of your lifetime. Setting up a trust and transferring assets to the entity means that you are no longer the legal owner of the contents. A trust always has a beneficiary, the entity in which the contents of the trust will eventually benefit, and a trustee, a third party that holds the legal title to the property while it is in the trust.
Guardianships are a type of court-appointed relationship that enables one person to care for another person who is medically or financially vulnerable in some way. In many cases, guardianships are put in place so that elderly people can be cared for by loved ones when they are no longer able to adequately look after themselves.
When you're creating your estate plan, you might be focused on the will and trusts, but there are other aspects of the plan that you need to consider. One of these is the letter of intent. While this isn't a legally binding document, it can prove to be very valuable in the days immediately following your passing.
Estate planning changes a little bit each year, and in 2020, it's no different. People with estate plans need to consider new limits on taxes and other factors that could impact their estate once they pass away.
Trying to plan for the future for a family member who has special needs can be a challenge because they may depend on receiving help from programs that have asset and income limits. If they receive a large inheritance, for example, they might be disqualified from the programs they need. This is a tragic circumstance, especially if the inheritance isn't enough to make up for the services they're losing.
You aren't young anymore, but you still feel that you have a lot of life left to live. Despite that, you know that you're not immortal, and you know that you should be taking steps to protect the assets in your possession.