Helping You Through Times of Change

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  » Creating an estate plan for a blended family

Creating an estate plan for a blended family

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Estate Planning

Nowadays, many people find happiness in a new marriage following a divorce or death of a spouse. In fact, approximately 40% of all marriages involve at least one partner who is entering a second marriage. In some of these families, either or both partners may have children from previous relationships. This makes their new family a blended one.

A blended family, also known as a stepfamily, reconstituted family, or complex family, may bring great happiness and excitement to the lives and futures of all its members. However, it does not come without complications. Estate planning is one of the topics that might raise issues.

Your spouse and children might compete for your assets

Your spouse and your children may compete against each other to some extent when it comes to your assets. This can happen even in the most cohesive of blended families. Your spouse may expect to inherit your assets if you die ahead of them. Your children may also be expecting to inherit your assets. This can lead to conflict as the children may be concerned that a stepparent will not have their interests at heart.

What you can do

It may be helpful to consider different types of trusts to address competing interests. A qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust is one potential option. This trust can be set up to provide for the surviving spouse while also ensuring that children receive their inheritance. This is just one of many legal tools you can include in your estate plan to better ensure your assets are distributed in line with your wishes.

Estate planning within a blended family can be complicated, but knowing your options and how you can protect your children and the assets they stand to inherit can prevent future problems down the road.