Blended families involve people who already have children falling in love and getting married. There are numerous complications that arise from combining two households that already include children.
With all of the family drama and adjustments taking place, you may not stop to consider the long-term legal implications of remarrying. No matter how kind your spouse is toward your children, it’s important to think about how you can protect the legacy you want to leave for your kids when you die.
Adjusting your estate plan is very important if you want to leave a noteworthy inheritance for your children after remarrying.
Spouses have a strong right of inheritance under California law
If you die without a last will, your spouse could potentially receive almost all of your property. Community property laws in California give your spouse a strong claim to a share of your property which could impact your children inherit after you die.
Although your spouse will receive less of your estate because they are not the biological or legal parent of your children, they would still have control over a significant amount of your property, which they might then pass on to their own children instead of your own.
Rather than assuming that your spouse will allow your children to inherit the remainder of your estate upon their death, it may be a smart move for you to create a trust or adjust how you hold the deed to your house so that your spouse can live there after your death without preventing your children from ultimately inheriting it.
Trusts are often important for estate planning in a blended family
A thorough estate plan is crucial for any parent, but especially one who has already lost a spouse or gone through a divorce. Not only do you want to name a guardian for your children and put certain protections in place for your spouse, but you also need to think about the long-term impact of your marriage on what happens to your property.
Trusts can play an important role in estate planning after someone remarries. They allow you to support and protect your spouse without eliminating the right of your children to inherit your property. Sitting down to think about your children’s needs and your spouse’s lifestyle can be a great starting point for creating or updating an estate plan after you remarry.