What Florida blended families should know about estate planning

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | General Education Law

If it’s your second marriage and you’re thinking about your estate plan in Florida, there are some things for you to keep in mind that other families don’t necessarily have to think about. If you’re not proactive, you might end up with an ex who ends up inheriting something you didn’t want them to. It’s also a good time to think about any other heirs involved – and a good way to prevent fights from happening when your blended family reads the will.

Do you know who your beneficiaries are?

One simple estate planning misstep that’s easy to correct if you catch it in time is forgetting to change your beneficiaries. If your ex-partner’s name is still on the beneficiary line of your 401(k), it can make things much more difficult for your family after you’ve passed away. When the money goes to who it’s supposed to, they won’t have to go through probate.

You probably have other beneficiary designations to update in addition to your 401(k) account. Make sure to check up on who your beneficiaries are for checking, savings and retirement accounts as well. Anything that has a beneficiary designation should probably be updated once you’re starting a new family.

Who is going to make decisions for you when you can’t?

Your legal directives will also likely need to be updated, including medical power of attorney. Otherwise, your ex-spouse would still be responsible for making your medical decisions in the event that you become incapacitated, which is almost certainly not what you want.

You’ll also likely want to make some changes to your will if you’re in a blended family. Even after you’ve updated all your beneficiaries, your will is still what determines where your assets will go after you pass away. So if you don’t want your ex to inherit the family house, it’s a good idea to take the time to rewrite those parts of your will.

Blended families are more common than ever. If you plan accordingly, it can work to the benefit of your new partner and your children – as well as children from previous marriages.