Estate Planning for Second Marriages/Blended Families

People don’t always expect to say “I do” more than once, but second marriages are so very common – and the related legal issues are intricate and complex.

It is very common for people to be involved in second marriages. The legal issues involved in these situations are intricate and complex. For example, are the assets to be kept separate or co-mingled? What happens to the assets of the first spouse to die? Are these assets distributed to his or her children, or are they to be kept on hand for the benefit of the surviving spouse? If the assets are commingled, can the what is to stop the surviving spouse disinherit the children of the first to die? What happens if the surviving spouse marries yet again, after the existing spouse dies? On the second death, are the assets to be distributed in equal shares to the children of both parties, or in proportion to what each spouse brought to the marriage? Who will be in charge to settle the estate at the second death? Should both families be represented in this process? What happens if the children of each party do not get along well? Finally, what happens if one of the spouses needs nursing home care?

As you can see, the above questions, and more, need to be answered in every second marriage situation. Through the use of trusts which are carefully tailored to each case, we can provide solutions to these difficult issues.