Estate Planning: Blended Families
When individuals are in their first marriage, most assets are accumulated together, split 50/50, and are typically left to a surviving spouse. However, with roughly half of marriages now ending in divorce and approximately 75% of people remarrying, those same rules don’t always apply. Estate Planning with a blended family can be extremely complex, especially if there is a risk that the division of assets may negatively impact your children or family in the long term. It is critical to work with an experienced Estate Planning attorney.
There are numerous issues that need to be addressed in a blended family Estate Plan. For example, each new spouse may have children from a prior relationship with different ideas for how those children are to be addressed in an Estate Plan. There may be issues of shared business revenue, real estate assets, or separate premarital property versus community property that need to be planned for in the new Estate Plan.
As such, for those on second, or third marriages, you will need to balance the needs of your spouse and those of your children from your previous marriage, which will require clarifying goals and making a detailed plan to meet those goals. This may include deploying a full range of Estate Planning services, including wills, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships that will fairly distribute your assets in a manner that protects your children and is equitable to all members in a blended family.