Many people who live in Pennsylvania have been married more than one time. A remarriage may follow a previous divorce or may come after a person has experienced the death of a spouse. Regardless of the reason, people in blended families should take their estate planning decisions seriously. In marriages where one or both spouses have children from a prior marriage, there can be a high level of complexity associated with how to create a plan that appropriately takes into consideration a person’s wishes for their children and for their new partner.
As explained by Fidelity Investments, there are certain types of trusts that are setup to accommodate a variety of long-term needs. A person might want to immediately bequeath some assets to their children, but retain other assets as a means of providing an income for their surviving spouse. A trust may be setup so that when the surviving spouse dies, any remaining assets pass on to the children at that time.
In addition to figuring out how they want their assets to be managed after their death, spouses should give careful consideration to who they will name as their trustee or executor. Forbes recommends that people think twice before naming a close family member unless they are confident that person will not succumb to family feuds that may develop when the terms of a trust or will are revealed.
It is also important to assess a potential trustee’s or executor’s financial stability, prudence and savvy. This role requires some understanding of investing and other financial matters to most effectively manage an estate.