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Estate Planning for a Blended Family

It’s no secret that it’s likely that you may end up being married or in a long term relationship with more than one person during your lifetime.

A blended family can take several forms – a married couple who has children from a previous relationship, families with children who are in a second marriage and who have kids from a previous relationship, or even families whose spouses have kids from a previous relationship.

Blended families can face complicated challenges when it comes to estate planning. Most often, the family member wants to provide for the spouse as well as the children from a previous relationship. But in some instances, they may want to provide for the children of their spouse.

This problem is quite common. Statistics show that 50% of marriages end in divorce; 43% of marriages are a remarriage – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, for at least one of the spouses; The average length of these marriages is 7 years; And approximately 1 million children each year have newly separated or divorced parents.

Think about these numbers. It’s astounding.

Without proper planning, there are 4 main concerns that you need to be aware of:

1. Without knowing, you may disinherit your children.
2. You may inevitably delay your children from receiving an inheritance until after the death of your spouse
3. You may need to protect assets from a former spouse; and lastly
4. Disputes may arise over the division of responsibility.

What should you consider when you’re planning on blending two families together?

First, you should consider and learn more about premarital agreements – a prenuptial agreement. What happens with your living situation, assets, obligations to pay expenses and debts upon death or divorce?

Possibly a spendthrift trust – which is a fancy way to say that we can make sure that your surviving spouse and children benefit upon your passing.

Or a bloodline trust – meaning that only your blood – children and grandchildren – benefit from your passing.

The options are endless. We spend so much time and money on planning for our future – let’s make sure to check the box and plan for your loved ones futures as well.