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Estate planning could benefit Florida blended families

It is not uncommon for Florida residents to marry more than once in their lifetimes. As a result, individuals may blend families together that encompass children from a previous marriage, children born after the new marriage and stepchildren. Creating families is a joyous occasion, but blended families may face more complicated issues when it comes to estate planning.

As with any case, if a person dies without leaving a will or trust, the state will be tasked with dividing that individual's assets. As a result, the assets will be distributed among the current spouse and biological and adopted children. However, there are certain factors that could lead to this situation being less than ideal. 

Some parents may want to ensure that certain assets go to their biological children or that biological children receive more of a person's estate than stepchildren. There may also be factors which could lead to an individual wanting to leave the entirety of their estate to their current spouse, such as if that person has young children with the current spouse. Because cases are specific to the circumstances, many individuals often have wishes that differ from standard court asset distribution. Therefore, parties may benefit from estate planning.

If Florida residents are concerned about whether their children, stepchildren and/or spouse will receive certain assets, they may want to make their wishes known. Creating a will or trust can easily lay out how assets should be distributed. Interested parties may want to explore estate planning options in order to ensure that their wishes are known.

Source:, "Estate planning for blended families more complex", Scott Halvorsen, July 3, 2015

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