When it comes to a blended family, figuring out “yours, mine, and ours” is a crucial task, and with the rise of blended families out there more and more people are learning how to navigate this task. A blended family is the product of marriages beyond the first where one or both of the married parties have children from a previous relationship.
However, it is important to understand how such a blended family could lead to potential conflict. For example, if you have children from a prior marriage and you become incapacitated or die and your estate plan leaves everything to your new spouse or partner, there is almost certainly to be some conflict between your children and new spouse. Your children may feel unloved, forgotten, or resentful in such a situation.
You could try to resolve this problem by leaving everything to your current spouse or partner and then, on their death, to your children. However, this too could set up a scenario where your children feel the need to monitor your spouse/partner’s use of your assets during their life, which could lead to conflict in its own way.
Conversely, you may have a partner or spouse that you have not planned for who you would want to inherit some or all of your assets. Unless you update your estate plan, your entire estate may go to your children from a prior marriage, creating a reality where your current partner could get kicked out of the house you share if something were to happen to you.
In all of these situations, proper estate planning is a key tool to ensure that these conflicts never need to occur. You can set it up so that your wishes are well documented and legally binding so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have done the right thing by your family and loved ones.
If you are the child of a parent who has remarried or re-partnered after the 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 estate plan for your blended family, start by sitting down with us. A Personal Family Lawyer® can help you plan for the needs of your unique family. Our Family Wealth Planning Session guides you to protect and preserve what matters most.
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.
Photo by Maryia Plashchynskaya: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-beside-man-3407978/