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Family law: Blended families can benefit from estate planning

Families come in all shapes and sizes these days. Those with children from previous marriages are often called "blended" families. It is especially important for those in this situation to think about the future in terms of estate planning because they may have more family members to take into consideration. An experienced family law attorney can help advise Louisiana families regarding the choices available to them.

One issue families may want to discuss with an attorney is updating beneficiary designations and existing wills. People often list their spouse or children as beneficiaries of retirement accounts, insurance policies and wills. When remarriages occur, these are sometimes forgotten. By considering new family dynamics and updating these records with current information, future legal dilemmas could be avoided.

Another option families may look into is creating a living trust. These can allow parents to determine when and how they want their assets distributed as well as help eliminate probate costs in the future. When properly structured, a living trust can maintain income for a surviving spouse and after that spouse passes, then provide finances to children from a previous marriage.

These are just a few of the legal matters blended families might want to arrange for their family's future. Taking care of these matters early on can help ease worries and prevent unwanted surprises. A skilled Louisiana family law attorney could assist families in understanding the complexities of estate planning as well as help them through the process of creating these important documents.

Source: ahwatukee.com, "Blended families should carefully study estate planning", Joseph Ortiz, March 7, 2017

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