Estate planning ensures the security of your spouse and children after your death. But in cases of blended families, the inheritance of your children from the first marriage may come under danger. The surviving spouse may disinherit your first marriage children from the estate with the authority he/she has.
The surviving spouse had the authority to update the will and cut the names of your children. This will disinherit your first marriage children from the assets they have the right to acquire.
Blended families are usually strong but the death of one spouse can bring many changes. The surviving spouse’s intentions change with time due to different circumstances. Then he/she decides to disinherit decedent’s children by updating the will.
You should frame the estate plan in such a way that your children’s inheritance will be secure. Some ideas to execute this are:
1. Joint Pour Over Trust in Estate Planning
In a joint pour over trust each spouse gets the authority to specify his/her intends about assets distribution. In this case only one trust is created which is a combination of each spouse’s separate trust.
The assets in the trust of the decedent gets transferred to the trust of the surviving spouse. But in this case the surviving spouse cannot change the trust. Hence, after the death of the surviving spouse, the decedent’s children from first marriage can inherit the assets.
The assets in the trust of the decedent provides lifetime funds to the surviving spouse. Only after his/her death ( the surviving spouse), the children can inherit the assets.
This trust can prevent your child’s inheritance after your death.
2. Beneficiaries in Estate planning
If you are planning to mention any beneficiary in the will, then you should mention it clearly. It should not invite any confusion while execution of the will through a probate process.
Sometimes individuals only mention “my children” in the beneficiary section of the will. This can create confusion in blended families because it is hard to predict the intends of the decedent. As it is hard to know whether the deceased is talking about his/her children or the step-children or both.
The best way to overcome this problem is to specify the child’s name who the deceased want to be the beneficiary in the will.
3. Distribution of Assets
Only making the will and naming the beneficiaries is not enough to secure your child’s inheritance. The testator should mention in the will what assets are going to the spouse and at what time. It should also mention whether to limit the transfer to the spouse at a certain point or not.
In order to secure the inheritance of your children from first marriage, you should plan for a proper distribution of assets after the death of the surviving spouse.
If you are planning to make your biological child as your beneficiary then you should determine:
- The time when the funds should be transferred to the child
- The funds available in case the child becomes disable
- The protection from creditors the child has
4. Life Insurance
An estate planner can make life insurance to ensure security of his/her children from first marriage. Estate planning should be successful as per the intentions of the deceased. A life insurance can guarantee or ensure this success.
The deceased should name his/her children from first marriage as the beneficiary of the life insurance. This will give all the proceedings from the life insurance to the mentioned child. This can act as a security for the child in future.
In this case, the child of the deceased is free from the burden that he may get disinherited. The proceedings from the life insurance can be used for child’s education and for his/her future healthcare needs
The surviving spouse does not have any authority on the proceedings of the life insurance. This is because he/she is not the beneficiary of the life insurance. This will restrict the surviving spouse intentions to disinherit the deceased’s child.
Hence, a proper estate plan of an individual can save his/her child from getting disinherited. With the increase in blended families, these problems are also rising. Many children are left with no funds for their future after the death of their parents. Estate planning with a creative and unique idea can guarantee the children of the deceased their inheritance. If you want to secure your child’s future, take this seriously.