Planning for Blended Families

Statistics demonstrate that approximately half of all marriages end in divorce and almost half of new marriages include at least one spouse who had been previously married. As a result, a tremendous number of blended families exist (families that include children from a previous marriage of one spouse or both). Estate planning for such clients is significantly more complicated than it is for any other group.

One of the seminal challenges is that most people who remarry already have kids. Frequently, both spouses in a second marriage want some or all of the assets they bring into the marriage to go to their biological children rather than their step-children upon death. However, they often want the surviving spouse to have use of the assets or to receive income from the assets until the surviving spouse’s death. Use of a Revocable Living Trust can allow one spouse to leave assets in trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse for life. Upon surviving spouse’s death, the assets would automatically pass to the deceased spouse’s biological children.

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