A blended family comes together as the result of a second marriage. This may include children, step-children, former spouses, current spouses, or even in-laws. Planning for the future with a blended family can become complex when considering the emotional challenges, however, it can get even more complex when considering the financial issues involved as well. How do you navigate estate planning or deciding on the distribution of assets between a blended family?
The good news is, there doesn’t need to be a permanent strain put on your family and there is a way to work out these details in order to reduce and avoid unnecessary complications.
It’s a Matter of Trust.
Put simply, a trust, is a contract between two parties to benefit a third party or class of different parties.
Here are some reasons why you should establish a trust for your blended family:
To prevent children from being disinherited (a will does not do this).
To ensure that a surviving spouse does not disinherit whoever he or she may choose, including the deceased spouse’s own children.
To provide protection for each child and spouse.
To provide the opportunity for all the children to be treated equally, or bloodline children be favored over non-bloodline children.
To avoid having the court decide where the assets will go.
To create clarity in who gets what assets as an inheritance.
To set out and enforce terms of an individual’s estate plan for generations to come.
For now, we suggest beginning to think about the end goal your blended family would like to work towards, and to stay in clear and meaningful communication with all parties involved.
As you further anticipate this transition process, don’t hesitate to contact attorney Dustin Hughes. Our office is happy to help you avoid the strain of making these decisions on your own by carefully helping you determine what would be best for you and your blended family. Set up a consultation today to begin talking about how you might start working towards a trust of your own!