Yours, mine and ours … in today’s modern family, it’s oh so common.
The blended family is the product of the 2nd (or more) marriages, in which one or more of the parties comes with children from a prior marriage. And then, they may even go on to have children together.
If you have or are part of a blended family, it’s important to understand how estate planning could be exactly what you need to keep your family out of conflict and in love, both during life, in the event of incapacity, and when one or more of the senior generation (read: parents) dies.
Let’s begin with an understanding of where potential conflicts could arise when you have a blended family.
If you have children from a prior marriage, and you become incapacitated or die, leaving everything to your new spouse or partner, there is almost certain to be some conflict (whether spoken or not) between your children and new spouse.
Your children may feel unloved, forgotten or resentful.
You may think that this can be avoided by leaving everything to your new spouse or partner, and then on his or her death, to your children. But this too could set up a scenario where your children feel the need to monitor your spouse/partner’s use of your assets, during his or her life. And that may not be what you want.
Conversely, you may have a partner or spouse that you have not planned for, who you would want to inherit some or all of your assets. But, as things stand right now, your entire estate may go to your children from a prior marriage. This could create a reality where your current partner even gets kicked out of the house you share, if something happens to you before your plan is updated.
You can avoid all of this (and even use the estate planning process to build stronger bonds) by having clear planning in place that has been discussed with your children and your new spouse or partner. We facilitate this as part of the planning process for all blended families.
If you are the child of a parent who has remarried or re-partnered, after a divorce or death, of your other parent, you may want to bring these issues to your parent’s attention.
If you are ready to create a well thought out estate plan for your blended family, start by sitting down with us. A Family Business Lawyer™ can help you plan for the needs of your unique family. Our Family Wealth Planning Session™ guides you to protect and preserve what matters most. Before the session, we’ll send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete that will get you thinking about what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your family is taken care of.
This article is a service of Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory PC, Family Business Lawyer™. We don't just draft documents, we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you've ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office at (650) 761-0992 today or book online to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
Like what you're learning?
Sign up for our free newsletter
Notes from the Chief Counsel's Desk
and get more legal insights sent directly to your inbox.
Having a will simply is not enough. It doesn't guarantee the care of your children if the unthinkable happens! See how we do it differently...
The strategies that are appropriate for protecting your assets are different for every family. Check out our proven process that gives you peace of mind...
Our unique legacy process gives your loved ones a precious gift - a lasting expression of your love. Find out what we offer with every plan...