Getting married for the second, or even subsequent, time is no longer an unusual thing. Many people successfully find happiness in a new marriage after a previous divorce or loss of a spouse due to death.
While a blended family may bring great joy to a person’s life and future, it may also raise new issues when approaching the topic of estate planning.
Potentially competing interests
Even in the most cohesive of blended families, your spouse and children may be pitted against each other to some degree when it comes to your estate. Both logically may expect to inherit your assets if you die before they do. However, your children may fear that they will never receive anything if their stepparent inherits it all first as that person may choose to leave things to his or her own children instead.
Evaluate different types of trusts
Forbes explains these competing interests may make it helpful for you to consider different types of trusts, such as a qualified terminable interest property trust, or a QTIP trust. This type of trust allows you to title assets to the trust which then provides an income stream for your surviving spouse after you die. The trust assets remain untouched and eventually flow to your children after your spouse dies.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in California an overview of how they may protect their children from a first marriage and their estate assets when entering into a new marriage, especially with a partner who also brings children to the new family.