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The importance of estate plans for blended families

Plenty of people in New Jersey get married after previously getting divorced or having experienced the death of a spouse. While a new marriage and future can and should be something to celebrate, these situations do often raise unique issues that should be addressed by both parties up front. These issues pertain to plans for each partner's assets and debts after they die.

It is important to remember that marriage is as much a business and financial union as it is an emotional one. As explained by Fidelity Investments, a person might have a financial obligation to a former spouse or to their children that should be factored into any plans going forward. When children are still minors, the identification of who should care for them in the event of a parental death is also something to be addressed.

According to Forbes, many people default to selecting their new spouse as the person who should inherit everything when they die and then expecting that remaining assets will go to their children after the spouse dies. That is a risky assumption in part because there is no guarantee of how long the surviving spouse may live meaning that there is then no guarantee that any funds will be left for the children to inherit.

There are some trusts that offer help for blended families so that spouses can provide care for each other without sacrificing their wishes to provide for their children or others in their lives. A prenuptial agreement may also be a beneficial tool for remarrying persons.


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