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Blended families and estate planning

There are many pitfalls for the inexperienced estate planner. Do-it-yourself planning can go from confusing to hopeless with a just few, relatively common wrinkles. One of the most common factors that can make estate planning complicated is the blended family.

Assumptions and benefits

Part of the problem is that the law makes certain presumptions about how a person would want to distribute his or her assets. In some cases, the law is purposefully designed to make it hard to accomplish a particular goal. A married person with children from a prior relationship may find it challenging to craft just the right plan.

Spouse as beneficiary

When it comes to insurance policies, retirement plans and IRAs, there is a strong expectation that the beneficiary will be a spouse. If a person gets divorced, it is important to consider whether the now former spouse should be in line to receive those benefits. In most such cases, the policy or account holder needs to take affirmative steps to change the designation.

If a person gets remarried, the new spouse is often the named beneficiary. This can lead to concerns about taking care of the children from the prior relationship. There are several ways to accomplish this while still leaving the new spouse as the named beneficiary.

Goal-oriented estate planning

When sitting down to create a plan, you must have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. There are many tools available to get you from where you are to where you want to be. The trick is to make sure that you don't let the tools dictate your plan to you.

Once your needs and objectives are established, you may need to work with an experienced professional to craft the optimal plan. Mistakes can threaten your legacy, but they can also threaten your financial freedom and security just when you need them the most. Plan carefully.

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  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
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    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
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