Blended families are increasingly common among Canadians today. A second or third marriage can introduce quite a few complexities to the estate planning process, particularly when multiple children from separate relationships are involved in the mix. If this applies to you, read on!
Keep Your Documents Updated
In a blended family situation, one of your first orders of business should be to update your estate documents. Any major life change such as marriage, second marriage, or children, should lead to a review of your estate documents. In many jurisdictions, marriage revokes your will entirely, and you will most likely need to revise beneficiary designations on your RRSP, insurance, and other accounts. It may be prudent to name a non-relative professional as your executor in order to avoid tensions regarding your selection. MacMillan Estate Planning will be able to walk you through each change or addition that is needed to ensure the best outcome for all of your loved ones.
Trusts, Insurance, and Contracts
In a complex family configuration, it’s essential to have a heightened level of control over your assets and their transfer both within and after your lifetime. This is precisely the strong point of setting up trusts to suit your needs, which is quite common among blended families. It may also be useful to structure a life insurance policy to provide for particular members of your family while the remaining assets of your estate provide for others. Finally, marriage contracts (also known as prenuptial or premarital agreements) are not used for all marriages, but they’re especially practical for protecting certain assets and wishes in the case of a blended family.
Whatever form your family may take, and whatever needs arise as a result, one should always remember that the best estate planning solution is a personalized one. The only way you and your loved ones will find the utmost peace of mind when it comes to your legacy is if you pursue legal, financial, and familial strategies built upon your unique situation. There are few scenarios in which the help of an experienced estate planner is more useful and transformative. Find a team of family-driven estate planning specialists who will take the time to fully understand your wishes and your goals. No two families are alike, and your estate plan should certainly reflect this!
Our family office is equipped with the estate planning expertise to help families of all different circumstances and configurations. When you work with the MacMillan team, you’ll take comfort in knowing that your legacy is in the right hands. Call today at 1 (833) 266-6464 to learn more.