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Estate planning for blended family in Texas: Major considerations

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When you and your spouse got married, you united not only your lives but also your families. This can be a wonderful thing, but it also comes with many new challenges. Therefore, you need to create an estate plan to protect each other and your children. If you are in a blended family in Texas, there are some specific things you need to take into account. Let's look at them below.

Estate planning and subsequent marriages in Texas

When you marry in Texas, part of your property will become your partner's. In fact, they will have a superior say in what happens to your assets when you die than any other person related to you. That's why estate planning is necessary to protect all your heirs, including those from your previous marriages.

Considerations when estate planning for your blended family

Here are some of the crucial factors to keep in mind after marrying into another family:

1. Update your will - Having a good last will and testament means planning for things that might trigger disputes. This may involve adding or removing some beneficiaries. You can also include a "no-contest" clause to prevent your family from trying to challenge your wishes after you are gone.

2. Set up trusts - Trusts are very useful in protecting and managing your assets for your loved ones. There are many different types of trusts that you can set up for all your family members—for example, a Qualified Personal Residence Trust, an AB trust, etc.

3. Plan for the possibility that your spouse might remarry after you are gone - The truth is, your spouse might find love and care from another person after your passing, which is a good thing. But you may need to include a provision in your will that says how you want your assets to be distributed if they do. Remember, the person they'll marry will also have a say in the property your spouse inherited, and they may not be as friendly to your biological children or other ex-spouses as you were.

Always keep in mind that sometimes you, the parents, are the ones holding your blended family together. After you are gone, your biological children might grow apart from your surviving spouse. So to prevent a situation where your partner might disinherit your children, your estate plan should be bulletproof.

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