The structure of blended families presents unique challenges when handling the estate of a deceased parent. Here are a few things you should consider if you're part of a blended family:
Every state has a spousal share. This mean that regardless of how long you've been married, your spouse will be the primary beneficiary of your estate and therefore receive the largest share unless you create a plan stating otherwise.
Additionally, when you by a home with your spouse, the title to that house is typically held jointly with Rights of Survivorship. This means that when you pass away, your house doesn't go through probate. It automatically transfers, one hundred percent, into the ownership of the surviving spouse- who is is not obligated to share with your children. Therefore, if you want to ensure that your children inherit your home, you should consider holding title separately.
Creating an Estate Plan for a blended family also helps to protect relationships. Even the most amicable relationships deteriorate quickly if loved ones are required to fight in court over the distribution of assets. By creating an Estate Plan, you ensure that your wishes are known, and court battles are unnecessary.