Estate Planning for Blended Families

by Jack Morrison on June 24, 2011

Like many individuals who have entered into a second marriage, you and your new spouse might each have your own children. This situation can often complicate even the best intentions when it comes to creating an estate plan for your blended family. And although discussing these details with your new spouse might be difficult, it’s essential to come to an agreement about how assets will be distributed once you or your spouse pass away. 

If you’re part of a blended family, here are a few things you need to consider:

  • Do you want to leave your new spouse part of your estate, or do you want it all to go exclusively to your kids?
  • If your children are young, decide whether you want your new spouse to be the guardian or if you’ll choose someone else entirely.
  • There are pre- and post-marriage assets that both you and your spouse are bringing to the new family. How will these be divided up?
  • Look into creating a revocable trust. This basically means that certain terms and conditions cannot be changed upon your death.
  • Although you think there may not be enough money saved to warrant making complex plans, deciding how allocations will be divided in advance (no matter how much money or assets are left) can save your family from serious arguments in the future.

Today, there are not many family unit relationships that are simple. Although you may initially be timid about having this talk with your spouse, it’s critical you make sure your loved ones are taken care of. 

My name is Attorney Jack Morrison. As a Massachusetts Estate Planning Lawyer, I assist clients every day with creating and updating their estate plans. Call my office at 508.852.7800 or reach out via our contact form.

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