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Long gone are the days when most married couples stayed married, and ’til death do us part’ doesn’t seem to be the case in many instances. Divorce and remarriage is relatively common these days, and the individuals may become stepparents and hence — the birth of the blended family. Arkansas residents who are considering estate planning and who are in a blended family may do well to consider a few important issues as they make the foray into getting their affairs in order.

If a couple is in a second marriage situation and did not create a prenuptial agreement, they might want to give thought to a postnuptial agreement. Issues like assets and a family business could be documented in such an agreement. Each partner should retain his or her own legal counsel when it comes to marital agreements.

One way of ensuring leaving something to a stepchild after death is to establish a trust for or to purchase a life insurance policy and naming him or her as a beneficiary. If a will is already in existence, it should definitely be updated after a second marriage. Those who don’t want assets going to their former spouses need to make beneficiary changes.

An Arkansas attorney who has experience in estate planning may be able to provide direction for his or her clients in blended families who wish to plan their estates or to make changes to existing documents. A lawyer knows the applicable state laws and can make suggestions for residents who are unsure of the process or don’t know where to begin in planning their estates. An attorney can help residents avoid estate planning mistakes and work to ensure that the client’s wishes are properly reflected in a carefully prepared estate plan.

Source:, “Estate planning: A critical move for blended families“, Accessed on May 25, 2018