Estate planning for blended families in Oklahoma continues to be more important. In the United States, the current divorce rate for first-time marriages is almost fifty percent. Of the fifty percent of marriages that end in divorce, most people re-marry. Bringing two different families together can be difficult and result in many emotions for both sides of the family. These emotions can worsen after someone dies oe divorces without a proper estate plan concerning their blended family.
Without a proper estate plan for your family’s current situation, you may be leaving your earthly money and possessions to people you don’t want to have them. Lawmakers did not write Oklahoma laws to protect one spouse’s children but not the other. You’ll have to be sure to include this in your estate plan so your estate is distributed the way you want it to.
Why Estate Planning Is So Important For Blended Families
Without setting up a proper estate plan for your blended family, your biological children may not receive any inheritance after your passing. If you pass away without an estate plan, the Oklahoma default probate law provides means to take care of your spouse and any joint children you may have, but it fails to account for some children. Depending on your situation, you may want to ensure your children receive their inheritance before your stepchildren receive their inheritance or that your biological children receive more.
There are many options for setting up an estate plan in a blended family. Perhaps the easiest—although also the riskiest—is to leave everything to your current spouse. This means that everything you own will go to your spouse. Once it is theirs, you can ask them to do certain things, such as giving it to your children. However, you’ll no longer have control over those assets. Once your spouse owns them, your surviving spouse could disregard your wishes and give them to whomever they see fit.
Another issue that we commonly see happen with this scenario is if your current spouse re-marries after your death. If you leave your current spouse your entire estate and they re-marry, the estate you intended to go to your children could now go to your surviving spouse’s new children. With proper estate planning in place, you can set conditions on your money and ensure it goes to the people you want it to go to.
Estate Planning Attorneys In Oklahoma
An experienced team of estate planning attorneys can help you create wills or trusts with certain conditions on your money so you know it will go to the right people. By using certain techniques, such as a Qualified Terminable Interest Property or QTIP Trust for a second marriage, we can make sure your children receive your hard-earned money instead of the children of your spouse’s new partner.
With a properly drafted and funded estate plan, you can properly provide for your blended family and eliminate disputes after your death. The attorneys at Kania Law Office are ready to listen to your concerns and put together a plan which will provide you with peace of mind. Call (918) 743-2233 to schedule your appointment, or contact us here.