Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com
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, both 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
If you have children from a prior marriage, and you become incapacitated or die, leaving
everything to your new spouse or partner, there is almost certain to be 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, 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
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 repartnered, 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 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.
Before the session, we’ll send you a Family Wealth Inventory and Assessment to complete 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 Casey D. Conklin, 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