Estate planning has become a lot more challenging in more recent years. As the divorce rate has increased, so has the amount of second (and third) marriages. This brings about a number of dynamics with what is known as the modern "blended" family. This involves children from prior marriages or relationships, which can bring about a number of challenging and difficult decisions to be made during the estate planning process.
It's been more than 22 years since Audrey Hepburn's death, and her two sons still can't divide up her belongings. The late "Breakfast at Tiffany's" star's children, Sean Ferrer from her first marriage and Luca Dotti from her second marriage, are fighting over a storage unit filled with posters, photos, costumes, awards and other memorabilia, according to TMZ.
In unions of those who marry twice, about 65 percent include children from prior marriages, according to the National Stepfamily Resource Center. That can complicate the transfer of brokerage accounts, real estate and personal possessions. Throw in resentments over divorces and rifts between stepchildren and step-parents, and the situation is ripe for legal battles.
Estate planning with one family is hard enough. For families with a mix of biological children and stepchildren, first spouses and second spouses, making out an equitable will can seem impossible.
All couples should have [a] talk [about] finances before they get married. But it's especially important to cover all the bases when the union involves two previously established households with children and other complications, such as parents who may need financial or physical support as they age, or ex-spouses still in the financial picture.
I see just as many women seeking prenuptial agreements these days as men. I suggest a prenup for those who have sizeable wealth, own a business or are entering into a second marriage with significant personal assets.