Yours, mine and ours … in today’s modern family, it’s oh so common. The blended family is the product of 2nd (or more) marriages, in which one or more of the parties comes with children from a prior marriage. And then, they may even go on to have children together.
If you have or are part of a blended family, it’s important to understand how estate planning could be exactly what you need to keep your family out of conflict and in love during life, in the event of incapacity, and when one or more of the senior generation (read: parents) dies.
Let’s begin with an understanding of where potential conflicts could arise when you have a blended family.
If you have children from a prior marriage and you become incapacitated or die, leaving everything to your new spouse or partner will almost certainly lead to some conflict (whether spoken or not) between your children and new spouse.
Your children may feel unloved, forgotten, or resentful.
You may think that this can be avoided by leaving everything to your new spouse or partner, and then on his or her death, to your children. But this too could set up a scenario where your children feel the need to monitor your spouse/partner’s use of your assets, during his or her life. And that may not be what you want.
Conversely, you may have a partner or spouse that you have not planned for, and who you would want to inherit some or all of your assets. But, as things stand right now, your entire estate may go to your children from a prior marriage. This could create a reality where your current partner even gets kicked out of the house you share if something happens to you before your plan is updated.
You can avoid all of this (and even use the estate planning process to build stronger bonds) by having clear planning in place that has been discussed with your children and your new spouse or partner. We facilitate this as part of the planning process for all blended families.
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 estate plan for your blended family, start by meeting with us. We 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. Before the session, you'll complete a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment that will get you thinking about what you own, what’s most important to you, and what you can do to ensure your family is taken care of.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. 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 is why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you have ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a planning session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
Disclaimer: All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney trained to work with families on estate planning matters regarding your specific situation. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, and any users or any other party.