The Pitfalls Of Estate Planning Law For The Blended Family

Divorce and remarriage are now so common in our country that blended families have become the new norm. When two adults marry and either one or both of them have children from a previous relationship, the complications of dying without a will can lead to heartache and bitterness when a spouse dies. It's imperative that both adults have proper plans in place that follow estate planning law guidelines. If you've remarried and haven't yet met with a will lawyer, now is the time to get started.

Sudden Death Leads To Complications

While we all want to believe that a second spouse will take care of our children from a previous marriage, this is often not the case when one dies unexpectedly, particularly if there is a vindictive or angry ex in the picture. If a partner dies intestate, the surviving spouse may hold all the financial cards and could leave the decedent's children from a previous marriage out in the cold. On the other hand, if one person dies and has an old will in place that leaves everything to his former wife and their kids together, the new wife or husband and his or her descendents could be financially devastated. It's always best to talk to estate attorneys who are familiar with the myriad of inheritance statutes in your state so that they can help you address issues you may not have even thought about.

Estate Attorneys Can Set Up Trusts To Benefit Everyone

In many situations, a trust is the best way to protect all parties in a blended family, including new spouses, kids from either partner's previous relationships, and any new children born after the new family is forged. If a man dies after remarrying and has the appropriate trust in place, his widow could live comfortably on the proceeds of a trust that would then go to his children when she passes away. A will lawyer can help you set up a trust that is administered for the benefit of your surviving partner as well as kids from any prior relationships and your current relationship, ensuring that no one is left financially devastated.

When Minor Children From A Previous Marriage Inherit: How Estate Attorneys Can Help

If you die and leave everything to your minor children from a former relationship, you may effectively be placing their inheritance in the hands of your ex. If you don't trust your ex-spouse's judgment or goodwill, you should discuss the situation with estate attorneys who can draft a trust that stipulates who should be the trustee of the money until your kids come of age and can administer their own inheritance. A close relative, your current spouse or a family friend can be appointed as a trustee in order to ensure the funds are used properly for the care and enrichment of your children. You may even appoint a will lawyer to be the trustee in certain circumstances. Any of these options can effectively limit the control your former partner has over your kids' inheritance.

Estate attorneys work within the complexities of estate planning law every day. Their experience is a valuable tool you can use to craft an inheritance plan for your blended family that will benefit everyone.