If you live in Pennsylvania and are preparing to get married, it is wise for you and your partner to discuss your wishes for the future. These discussions should extend all the way through your lives and even include what you want to happen when you die. This is especially important if one or both of you have children from any prior marriages or relationships. 

As explained by CNBC, starting a blended family without a solid estate plan in place opens the door for the children brought into the marriage to essentially be disinherited by accident. If a married person dies without a will or a trust, it is common for the surviving spouse to inherit most of the estate. There would be nothing that requires that person to then pass anything from the estate on to the deceased spouse’s children.

There are trusts designed to allow you to ensure your spouse will receive an income after you die, but that will also protect some assets and save them for your children. In addition to a will and a trust, you should give thought to who you want to name as the beneficiary on accounts like life insurance policies or retirement funds.

If you would like to learn more about some of the estate planning tools that may be appropriate for you and your family when you get married for the second or subsequent time, please feel free to visit the blended family’s asset plan page of our Pennsylvania estate planning website.