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Blended Families and Estate Planning

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blended families provide a challenge for many elder law attorneys. Now, over 50% of all homes consist of blended families.

Consider a family whose assets are held jointly, with the exception of the home being solely in the husband’s name. One spouse wants all of the assets to be divided equally between all of the children, while the other wants to disinherit one of the other spouse’s children due to the little amount of contact they have with the child. The challenge in this situation is to create a plan that meets both of the parties’ goals. Trust planning seems to be your best option in this situation. See our article on “Should You Trust A Trust.”

Next consider a couple who married later in life and one spouse has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Under the best circumstances, the children who are most likely making the decisions based on care will get along. In many instances, this is not the case. Care for a chronic illness can be very expensive. Who bears the cost? Does this cost affect the estate of one spouse or both spouses?

As you can see in the examples above, blended families bring a complicated set of facts to estate planning. To see how we can help your blended family be prepared for the future, contact our office for more information.