Mendocino Estate Planning Attorneys for Blended Families Making a Difference
Creating an estate plan can be an intimidating task, and many individuals feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a will or putting their assets into trusts. But the process can be simple if you have an estate planning lawyer helping you at every step of the way. We encourage our clients to prepare today because we do not know what the future will hold, and the best way you can provide a secure future for your family is through an estate plan. This is even more critical for the unique needs of blended families that include stepchildren or grandchildren under the care of grandparents. Your nontraditional family will have needs that are different from anyone else, and our talented legal team can identify those needs and make the best estate plan for you. Reach out to us today at (707) 937-2701 for a free initial consultation. We are happy to meet with clients in person in Mendocino, through virtual meetings, or by phone.
Do Individuals in Blended Families Need an Estate Plan?
We believe that in almost every case, the best choice for an individual is to create an estate plan to benefit their loved ones after they die. Having a will or trust in place can be even more beneficial for blended families because of their unique challenges. For example, you may have great relationships with your stepchildren today, but it is always possible for people to grow more distant later on in life. After your death, you want to be sure that your new spouse and any biological children you have with him or her are protected and receive the inheritance you have planned for them. If you die intestate, or without a will, they may not benefit from your assets in the way you would wish. But providing instructions in the will gives the legal obligation for those loved ones to be taken care of as you would like.
Another way having an estate plan benefits individuals in blended families is when the person becomes incapacitated and cannot make decisions on their own. This could come from injury or sickness, and there is no telling if that may happen to you. But you can take the simple step today of creating an advanced directive, or living will, that gives decision-making authority to a spouse or trusted loved one that allows them to take care of you in the best way possible. Your estate plan can also indicate that your family members are allowed to visit you, making sure any extended or blended members do not prevent your new spouse from being with you.
What Makes Up an Estate Plan?
Estate plans come in many varieties and can be made up of a variety of documents. Those can include a will, a living will (or advanced directive), a trust, a living trust, an AB trust, or marital trust, among other items. People in blended families can benefit from estate planning, even more, when taking advantage of the many options available to them.
With the many different relationships involved in blended families, distributing the decedent’s, or deceased person’s, an estate can become quite complicated. Having a will or trust is then a valuable asset for the family as they will know how to assign different properties and money to the different family members. The living will is another important document that provides instructions should the individual become incapacitated and be unable to make important financial and healthcare decisions.
With the many different options in estate planning, it can be confusing and intimidating. But you don’t have to go through this process alone. Get in touch with our compassionate and talented estate planning lawyers today to see how we can help you take the first steps in getting your estate plan started.
What Will Happen to my Assets if I Don’t Make an Estate Plan?
At DeCarli Law, we want our clients to have the highest degree of protection possible for their loved ones following their death. One important part of this is to understand what could happen if you die without creating an estate plan.
Dying intestate, or without a will, means your assets will be evaluated and distributed in a process known as probate in California. Probate can be lengthy and expensive. It’s also not the best way to protect your assets from being taxed and eaten away.
Taking simple steps to begin an estate plan can save your family from the expense and heartache of probate. Also, not only is it essential to create an estate plan, but you should also always make sure it is up to date with the individuals in your family included.
Can Attorneys Help My Blended Family Create an Estate Plan?
For individuals in a blended family, meaning they have remarried after a divorce, have stepchildren, or have custody of their grandchildren, estate planning can be trickier than for a family that is more traditional in structure. But this process is also even more important. You can protect your blended family from higher taxes and from conflict and tension from tearing away at your family relationships. You may even be able to prevent your estate from going through the complicated and costly probate process. Estate planning is important and can be complicated, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The talented legal team at DeCarli Law is ready to help you make the right estate plan decisions for your blended family. Call us today for a free initial consultation either virtually, in person at our lovely Mendocino office, or by phone by dialing (707) 937-2701.