Estate Planning for the Modern Family
In the 1960s era of Ozzie and Harriet, most children lived in a 2-parent household. However, over the years, family dynamics have changed substantially. Now, fewer than half of children live with both parents, 15% live with one parent who has remarried1 and 1,300 new step families are forming every day.2
Blended families are more common than ever, which can make estate planning complex. A mistake can be costly and ultimately rob your intended heirs from their inheritance.
What can you do to make sure your assets are properly bequeathed?
• Communicate your wishes. Avoid hard feelings, miscommunications or errors by making sure your spouse and adult children understand your intentions.
• Control your assets. Document what you bring to the table or keep your assets separate from your spouse’s. It’s common for remarried couples to own some financial accounts jointly and others in their own names.
• Review your beneficiaries. Retirement assets and life insurance proceeds go to named beneficiaries. After a major life event, like divorce or re-marriage, review and update your beneficiary designations, as needed.
• Consider setting up a Trust. If you have a specific concern, there may be a Trust to address it. For example, a Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP) allows you to provide for your surviving spouse with income from the trust but leave your investment principal to your beneficiaries. A Bloodline Trust protects your child or grandchild’s inheritance from spouses, ex-spouses and creditors.
If you’re in a blended family grappling with what’s “yours, mine and ours,” your Luma Wealth advisor can help you protect your legacy goals.