A lot of people are part of a blended family. It’s important for those in this type of family to make sure that stepchildren are incorporated into their estate planning process.
Many stepparents love and care for their stepchildren as their own children, and they may not be aware that this emotional bond is not one that is protected by law. Laws of inheritance do not apply to stepchildren unless they are formally adopted. Without a legal relationship to your step children, you will need to be clear in your estate plan that you wish for your estate to benefit them.
Often, remaining property is left to children equally in estate plans. However, this type of language only applies to biological and adopted children. Although people believe their family will understand the decedent’s wishes and share things evenly, this is not always the case.