If you are one of the many people in Illinois who are preparing to get married for the second or subsequent time, you likely know and appreciate how precious a marriage and family is. In addition to taking vows and sharing a daily life with someone, another way to show your love for a spouse and your other family members is to have plans in place to help them after you die. A solid estate plan can take a big load off of people already struggling to adjust to life without you.

When you get remarried, it is important to re-evaluate your estate planning wishes through a different lens. As Fidelity Investments explains, providing for your new spouse and your children from a prior marriage can be more complicated than providing for an intact, nuclear family from a first marriage. Regardless of how well a step-parent gets along with their stepchildren, these people can end up at odds over what should happen after the death of the spouse or parent.

Blended family estate planning requires candid conversations and consideration for any obligations to existing children or even to a former spouse. Documentation should clearly spell out the flow of assets to all parties so a person’s ultimate wishes can be realized. 

If you would like to learn more about the types of estate planning tools that may help you and your blended family protect assets and guard against unnecessary disputes, please feel free to visit the wills and trusts for remarried couples page of our Illinois estate planning website.