Estate Plans for Blended Families

These days, many clients have blended families, meaning that one or both spouses or partners have children from prior relationships. In some instances, all members of the blended family come together as a cohesive family unit, but not always. Estate planning for these blended families creates challenges that should be dealt with prior to one spouse or partner’s death or incapacity.

Without proper planning, assets may not be distributed to family members as the decedent desired or intended. For instance, if the decedent leaves all of his or her assets to the new spouse or partner, the decedent’s children may not be provided for. Alternatively, if the decedent distributes his or her house to his or her children, the surviving spouse or partner may not be protected and could be evicted by the children.

On the other hand, with proper planning, the decedent’s assets are distributed in accordance with his or her wishes. For instance, spouses or partners can establish documents that provide income for the surviving spouse or partner during his or her lifetime while protecting the principal for the decedent’s children after the surviving spouse or partner’s death.

With careful planning, a blended family can create an estate plan beneficial to all members while minimizing animosity among them.

[Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website have been authored or gathered by the Law Offices of Stuart D. Zimring, and are intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. Transmission is not intended to create and receipt does not establish an attorney-client relationship.]