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Blended Families Require Proper Planning

Second marriages bring additional estate planning considerations, especially when children from past relationships are involved. Here are some tips for addressing a blended family in estate planning.

Do you have a blended family? Have you made proper plans to ensure all of your family members are taken care of when you are no longer here?

One of the more persistent stereotypes concerning family relationships is that of the children from a first marriage not getting along with a stepmother or stepfather. The most famous example is probably the wicked stepmother from Cinderella. Nevertheless, thousands upon thousands of other examples both real life and fictional exist.

While it is not always true, it is common enough that people with children from a spouse other than their current spouse need to take special care with their estate plans to lessen the likelihood that the current spouse and children will fight over the estate.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently published an article on this issue appropriately titled "Considerations for Blended Families."

Here are a few of those "considerations":

  • Make sure that your spouse and your adult children know how you want your assets distributed.
  • Use a trust to provide for both your spouse and your children from a previous marriage.
  • Update any powers of attorney and beneficiary designations to include your new spouse, if necessary.
  • Share a list of contacts with your spouse.

Estate planning for blended families is more challenging, but with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney you can do it in a way that minimizes the likelihood for any problems with the estate.

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