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Estate planning for a blended family

There are many divorced individuals in Kentucky who eventually remarry. They often have children, in many cases, both partners bring children into the marriage. While this may bring to mind images of "The Brady Bunch," there are significant issues that should be addressed by those couples once they have remarried.

During a divorce, you should revise all matters affected, like your life insurance policies and any other instrument that has a beneficiary designation, such as military pensions and retirement accounts. You should also revise your will and any advance directives, like a living will and all powers of attorney. If you lack any of these documents, you should sit down with an attorney and have them drawn up.

Another concern that may not be immediately apparent is the need to protect your children in the event of your death. If you lack a will, Kentucky's intestate succession law will direct how your assets are distributed. Generally, your spouse will receive half of your intestate estate and you children will receive the other half. While this may appear fair in a general sense, depending on which assets are in your intestate estate, it may not be how you would have distributed your assets.

This is where estate planning is important. With the use of trusts, you can create instruments that ensure that your children receive the assets you would wish them to receive. This can be a complex process, depending on the items that would be property of your estate, but with the help of an experienced attorney, you can sort out the details.

Planning like this has the advantage of creating the right set of expectations, which may go a long ways towards preventing disappointed heirs from disputing a will and wasting assets of an estate with prolonged litigation.

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