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Dealing with an estate plan for a blended family in Texas

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate

As the years advance, you may be thinking ahead to the time when you wish to pass down your assets to your loved ones. If you have only had one family the entire time, your estate plan should be relatively straightforward, but if you have been divorced and remarried, your estate plan that involves your blended family may be much more complex.

When it comes to estate planning, having a blended family can complicate things. There are some possible situations that can occur and it is important for you to understand what they are and how to deal with them if they do arise.

  • No estate plan, community property: If you pass away without having created an estate plan in Texas, the state will take over and distribute your estate according to state law. When it comes to community property, if the deceased person had children from a previous relationship, the current spouse is only allowed to inherit half of the community property, which includes the family residence. The other half will go to all of the deceased’s children. Even if the current spouse continues to live in the residence, they will co-own it with their stepchildren and receive their portion of the value if it is sold.
  • No estate plan, separate property: When it comes to separate personal property that the deceased person owned, the children will retain two-thirds of all of the separate property. That property may include valuable assets, such as vehicles, art, jewelry and other items that have sentimental value. The surviving spouse will only get one-third of that property.
  • Real estate, separate property: If the deceased person owns separate real estate property, the current spouse will only inherit one-third and the deceased person’s children will inherit two-thirds.

Having an estate plan in place

Your customized estate plan can avoid many of the potential problems listed above. For instance, your plan could leave all of your assets to your spouse, and it is up to the spouse to decide how to distribute the assets when they pass on. The surviving spouse can change their will to designate specific assets to other people.

When considering an estate plan, if you wish for specific people to inherit specific assets, it is the most sensible (and safest) to designate it in your will. Additionally, if you feel that you need to protect your spouse and children from other influences, it is safest to specify what you wish to do.

A sound estate plan and sound legal advice

You have worked hard for a long time to accumulate assets. A sound estate plan is the way to ensure that your assets will go to your loved ones according to your wishes. The valuable advice of an experienced Houston estate planning lawyer can help you to make that happen. The lawyer can help you through the process and you can have peace of mind knowing that your assets will end up in the hands of your loved ones as you wish.