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Blended Families and Estate Planning

SMP Law likes to share blog posts that reinforce the importance of having a will and doing your estate planning.  See our previous blog post on “Who Should Make a Will and Plan Their Estate”  and “Make Sure Your Wishes are Followed – Plan Ahead!” for more suggestions on wills and estate planning.  However, when estate planning with a blended family there are other issues that need to be considered. The Google definition for a blended family is “a family consisting of a couple and their children from this and all previous relationships”.

RBC Wealth Management discussed four (4) considerations that an estate planner should reflect upon when estate planning for a blended family.

The four considerations:

1) Check your documents regularly – you want to be sure your documents are updated regularly. Many documents may have beneficiaries or other estate planning that may contain former spouses names, and as such need to be updated.

2) Consider implementing marriage contracts or prenuptial agreements when remarrying. These contracts and agreements can assist with planning for how the estate will be distributed to children as well can assist with taxation issues and concerns.

3) Think about the usefulness of setting up a trust that will provide income to your spouse until your spouse passes with the remaining of the funds then being distributed to your children and loved ones.

4) Be open with your communication as to ensure your concerns and wants as it relates to the first family are just as clear as to how your second family will be treated. In short, because you have multiple families and children to consider, the ability to clearly communicate is essential to having a properly drafted will.

As the number of blended families increase, it is important to consider the above suggestions when planning for the future.

Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-270-0073 or email info@smplaw.ca if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.

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