Many families across our country are “blended.” In other words, one or both spouses have been previously married and have children from that prior marriage. Many times the couple goes on to have children of their own as well. Thus, when it comes to estate planning for a blended family, there are some unique issues that must be considered.
You must consider the different interests involved. How will you provide for your surviving spouse, children and step-children? In many cases there is child support, several residences and multiple accounts that must be dealt with in the estate plan. To ensure your estate plan is comprehensive and achieves the results you want, it is vital that you obtain advice from an experienced attorney.
It can be difficult to decide how to divide your assets between your surviving spouse and your biological children. If you are close to your step-children, their interests must be considered as well. If your biological children are minors, you must also address the issues regarding child custody. With so many factors at play, you should make these decisions while you are healthy and can take time to carefully craft your estate plan to best protect your family. Failure to do so could result in:
- You children unintentionally being disinherited
- Your children’s inheritance being delayed until your surviving spouse dies
- Your former spouse making a claim to your assets
- Family disputes over your estate or authority to act
If you have a blended family and you want to ensure that your wishes are clearly documented, contact us today. We can help you prevent family conflict when you are gone.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office.