Strengthen Your Blended Family Through Legal Planning

Most people today know and love someone from a blended family, or come from a blended family themselves. The latest statistics show 46 percent of weddings taking place in the United States today are the creation of a stepfamily. Blended families come in countless shapes and sizes, and can be just as diverse in their dynamics and values.

If you are part of a blended family, you are aware of the unique benefits and challenges that can come with the territory. Because they are so unique, the process of protecting your family can be equally challenging. It is therefore important to understand how estate planning can you keep your family out of conflict and unnecessary heartbreak, both during life, and when a parent dies. Legal planning can also prevent confusion and strife in the event of incapacity.

Here are some potential struggles blended families can face:
  • If you have children from a prior marriage, and you become incapacitated or die, how will your estate be divided? If you leave everything to your new spouse, it’s almost certain to cause contention. As a result, your children may feel unloved, forgotten, or resentful.
  • Perhaps your plan is to leave everything to your new spouse, and thence on to your children when your spouse joins you in death. This might seem like a good compromising solution, but it could also very easily create an undesirable scenario. Your children may feel the need to monitor the use of your assets while you spouse is yet alive, and that may not be what anyone wants.
  • In another scenario, you may have a partner or spouse for whom you did not legally plan for in your paperwork. If you’d hoped for this loved one to inherit some or all of your assets, what will be their recourse? Could your entire estate go to your children from a prior marriage? Conversely, could your current partner be kicked out of the house you now share? If something happens to you before you’ve updated your plan, unwanted scenarios such as this can become a painful reality.
Change doesn’t have to be painful

Avoid these crises by having a clear legal plan in place. Discuss with your children and your new spouse or partner. The estate planning process can build stronger bonds between the members of your special family unit. Sundance Law can help facilitate this with our ValuesSecure program, and other helpful planning tools.

Many of us are in second or subsequent marriages, and we can help you plan for what is most important in your life. Also, if you are the child of a parent who has remarried or repartnered, consider bringing these issues to their attention. Call Sundance Law today to set up a free consultation, and get started on an estate plan that will give you peace of mind. You can protect your blended family against added grief and chaos in times of loss. Allow loved ones to focus on healing, and leave the rest to us.

Sundance Law Group focuses on securing your future, family, and business through estate and business planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, trust administration, and business planning contracts and agreements. Our offices are located in Highland and Lehi, and we serve clients in Utah and Salt Lake Counties. You can contact us by phone 801.980.3401 or e-mail info@sundancelaw.com.