Blended Family Estate Planning IssuesAre you putting together an estate plan that includes both your children and step children? Learn blended family estate planning issues here.
I am part of a blended family. How do I safely divide my estate between my family members?
Answer:Blended families may be trendy on T.V., but in real life, they’re challenging. I’ve personally been involved with two blended families in my lifetime. You learn lessons every day. You have the same love for your bonus children as you have for your biological children. You may have a different relationship in each area, but all are very meaningful. Even so, it’s often the case that your bonus children don’t understand your biological children, and your biological children don’t understand your bonus children. So, the question arises, how do you divide your estate between your bonus children and your biological children? That’s super difficult and there’s no real easy way to do it. Add to the mix a spouse whom you truly love who often doesn’t care about certain assets you’ve accumulated before your lives merged. It can be a real challenge, and it’s not something you should expect to sort out in one meeting with a lawyer. Instead, I recommend putting all the factors and options on the table and you pick one to work through at a time. To my mind, the biggest priority lies in honoring that people need to feel safe. I think you need to create an environment where you can look realistically at your estate, your assets, your potential income, and then come up with a plan which makes everyone feel safe. What I mean by that is, the bonus children feel like they feel appreciated, respected, and loved, and your bio children feel that you’re safeguarding the assets they hold near and dear to their hearts. It’s a never-ending process, but getting your “ducks in a row” by having meaningful conversations and drafting meaningful documentation is the best way to add peace to your life. That document could change every year, or every month if you need it to, but it’s best to get something in place, as opposed to having nothing in place. It’s always better to take that first step than to put it off and take no step.
Are you or a loved one looking to plan your estate and have questions about blended family estate planning issues? Contact a Stillwater estate planning attorney at Murray Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you. Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel