Blended families are continuously becoming more common in the United States. This creates special considerations that must be taken into account during estate planning because not planning properly for blended families is a good way to ensure that there will be family feuds over an estate.
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.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (March 2, 2015) "Considerations for Blended Families,"