How a Will Can Protect Your Blended Family The standard image of a family as a mother and father with two children is becoming less frequent. In the current age, families include a variety of situations: divorces, single parents, unmarried couples living together, same-sex parents, second marriages and beyond. So how do you ensure that your blended family receives the inheritance you wish to leave upon your death? A valid Last Will and Testament is one way to safeguard your final wishes. Divorce Although the law severs an ex-spouse's inheritance rights upon dissolution of marriage, if you are divorcing, or separated, you should create a Will to state your wishes regarding your ex-spouse’s possible inheritance of your property before the proceedings are finalized. After the split, if you and your ex have children together, you may wish to leave some property to your ex to help care for your children if you pass away. On the other hand, you may wish to completely remove your ex from inheriting any property. By creating a Will, you can ensure that your ex-spouse will not inherit your belongings. Second Marriages Many second marriages include step-children. You may have specific wishes about leaving an inheritance for your step-children or you may desire to only leave property to your children. Whatever your wishes and reasons are, your Will can help. Live-in Partner If you have a live in partner, but your property is only titled in your name, a Will is a must have if you wish to leave your home to your loved one. You may also wish to title the property in both names as a back-up plan. The Effects of Having No Will Blended families are often negatively affected by intestacy laws, which determine the fate of estates without a valid Will and Testament. If you don’t put your final wishes into a legal document, your chosen heirs may not receive an inheritance. When an estate does not have a Will, state inheritance laws will determine who is an heir at law. Only heirs at law will inherit property, and the law will dictate how much each heir receives. When inheritance laws are in charge of your estate property dispersion, some of your desired beneficiaries may be left out and others that you didn’t wish to include may receive your property. If you have an unusual family situation, it is essential to use a Will or other estate plan. Experienced estate planning attorneys Seattle WA of the Byrd Garrett PLLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Seattle WA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.byrdgarrett.com today.
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