If you are in a blended family in Arizona, it is vital to take extra steps to make sure your estate planning is done correctly. Blended families can be more complicated than traditional families regarding estate planning, so making certain mistakes is very easy.
Not updating your beneficiary designations
Beneficiary designations refer to accounts that name someone other than your spouse as the primary beneficiary. This includes life insurance policies, retirement accounts and even bank accounts. It’s essential to keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date to avoid confusion or potential conflict after your death.
If you don’t update your beneficiary designations, your assets may not go to the people you want. For example, if you are in a blended family and have not updated your beneficiary designations, your ex-spouse could still inherit your assets even though you may have remarried.
Not having a will or trust
A will is an estate planning document that describes how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. If you don’t have a will, the state where you live will decide how to distribute your assets. This could mean that your assets will go to people you didn’t intend to inherit them. Besides distributing your assets, you can also use a will to appoint a guardian for your minor children.
A trust is similar to a will in that it lays out how you want your assets to get distributed after you die. The main difference is that trusts can avoid probate, the legal process of distributing someone’s assets after death. Probate can be time-consuming and expensive, so avoiding it can be a huge benefit.
Not communicating with your family
Estate planning can be a sensitive topic, but it’s essential to have open and honest communication with your family about your plans. If you don’t communicate with your family, they may not be aware of your wishes or what to do after you die. This can lead to conflict and even legal problems.
If you have a blended family, you want to ensure that your estate planning is done correctly to avoid potential problems. Make sure to update your beneficiary designations, have a will or trust, and communicate with your family about your plans. These simple steps can help ensure that your assets are distributed how you want them to be after you die.