In the society of today, a family can be more than a single spouse and the children of such a marriage – the blended family has become increasingly common in our world. A blended family is the product of a second or more marriage(s) in which one or more of the parties has children from a prior marriage. Planning for ‘yours, mine, and ours’ becomes incredibly important in such situations.
If you have or are a part of a blended family, an Will and Trust can become the key that not only helps you keep your family out of conflict once you have passed away, but also living in harmony during your life. Giving clear expectations and plans for your incapacity and eventual death allows for discussions, understandings, and peace in your family.
To get into the right mindset, let us explain where potential conflicts can arise in a blended family.
Consider the ones you love
If you have children from a prior marriage and you become incapacitate or die, choosing to leave all decisions, property, and assets to your current spouse is almost a certain path to conflict. Your children could feel overlooked, unloved, and/or resentful towards you and your current spouse.
It is understandable to believe that leaving everything to your current spouse or partner, and upon their death have everything then go to your children. However, this too could lead to conflict: Your children may feel pressured to monitor your spouse/partner as they use your assets out of a desire to care for what will become theirs. This tension between your current spouse and your children may not be what you want.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you have a partner or spouse that you have not yet legally planned for, your entire estate could go to your children even if you would want your spouse/partner to inherit some or all of your estate. In this reality, your loved one could be kicked out of the house you share if something happens to you before your plan is updated.
This is why using Wills and Trusts planning to open discussions amongst the family members involved in your life is crucial: you can build stronger bonds by explaining your priorities and listening to their thoughts when it comes to your legacy. In the end, the choices are yours, but you will feel more confident and assured after having a clear plan in place that has been communicated with your children and your current spouse/partner. We even facilitate this as part of the planning process for all blended families because it is key to ensuring harmony in your family.
If you are the child of a parent who has remarried or re-partnered, after a divorce or death of your other parent, you may want to bring these issues to your parent’s attention.
If you are ready to create a well-thought-out Will and Trust for your blended family, start by sitting down with us, your Personal Family Lawyer®. 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 Wills and Trusts planning process guides you to protect and preserve what matters most. Before the session, we’ll send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete that will support your thinking on what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your family is taken care of. You can schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session™ online with us or give us a call if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!
This article is a service of Levi Alexander, 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.