Yours, mine and ours … in today’s modern family, it’s common. The blended family is the product of a second (or third) marriage where one or more of the parties comes with children from a prior marriage. And 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 during life, in the event of incapacity, and when one or more of the parents dies.
Most people have heard about or experienced the conflicts that can arise when you have a blended family.
Consider the ones you love
If you have children from a prior marriage, and you become incapacitated or die and leave 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.
If you assume conflict can be avoided by leaving everything to your new spouse or partner because you expect the new spouse to take care of your children as you would have, you could be setting up a tense scenario. Your children may feel the need to monitor your spouse/partner’s use of assets. And that may not be what you want.
If you enter a new relationship and don't legally plan at all, you may mistakenly leave someone out that would want to inherit some or all of your assets. For example, your entire estate may go to your children from a prior marriage and nothing go to your long-term partner. It is even possible that your long-term partner could be kicked out of the house you share if your plan is not up-to-date.
These problems are unnecessary and avoidable. And in the process, you may find that solid informed estate planning can build stronger bonds with those you love. By having clear planning in place, discussing it with your children and your new spouse or partner, you can generate trust and security. 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, you may want to bring these issues to your parent’s attention and invite them to review their plan.
If you are ready to create a well-thought-out estate plan for your blended family, start by sitting down with us. During your Family Wealth Planning Session,™ we can help you plan for the needs of your unique family and ensure everything and everyone you love is protected and provided for as you wish - including you. Our estate planning process guides you to protect and preserve what matters most. Before the session, we’ll send you a tool-kit packet with a step-by-step process to help you think through the important aspects of planning: understanding what you own, prioritizing what’s most important to you, and ideas specific to your circumstance to ensure your family is taken care of.
You can schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session™ directly with us by email or call if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!
This article is a service of Rayboun Winegardner, PLLC, Personal Family 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 today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.