Developing an Estate Plan with Your Blended Family in Mind

In this day and age, blended families are more commonplace than ever. When a beloved parent passes away, leaving behind a non-traditional family unit, knowing how assets will be divided amongst them can lead to problems. Contentious familial situations following a loved ones passing can make the grieving process even more complicated. Having a blended family can be an incredibly rewarding experience, despite this; it can also be complex, especially when a loved one passes away.

When Your Spouse is Still Living

In most situations, your spouse will stand to inherit the majority of your assets.

Situations where there are several children involved can be difficult to manage. A clear estate plan can help provide a roadmap of how assets and property will be divided. If there is one spouse still living, it can be challenging to navigate the division of assets in a way that will make everyone happy. This is especially the case when the children of the parent who has passed are not blood related to the living spouse. Having an attorney help you to clearly outline your estate plan can help you to have a plan in place for your loved ones. It may even be a good idea to speak with your spouse and children about your final wishes to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Common Problems that May Arise

For blended families, problems can quickly impact familial relationships, especially if a parent, or both parents pass away without a proper estate plan. It is common for conflict to emerge between children in a blended family. By taking the time to set up an estate plan, all of this can be avoided. An attorney will be key in making sure that every aspect of your estate plan is covered. There are a number of issues that could come up, including:

  • Families are left to determine how assets should be divided, causing them to fight over your final wishes.
  • Relationships amongst your family could be lost forever.
  • If you have small children, there may be no care plan in place for them.
  • Your children and/or spouse‚Äôs inheritance could be in jeopardy.
  • The state may have to make decisions of how your assets will be divided for you, in most situations; your living spouse will inherit your assets.
  • If you have stepchildren that you would like to leave an inheritance, they may not be entitled anything if you do not have an estate plan.

The death of a loved one is a highly emotional situation, set your family up by working with an estate-planning attorney. Leaving an estate plan for your loved ones can help provide a clear road map during a time of sadness within your family.

Leaving your family members to contend with your assets and final wishes without a plan in place is not fair to them. Grief and emotions often run high when a loved one passes away, by not planning ahead, you put your family at risk of severing ties with one another due to the extreme conflict they could face. Contacting a Folsom estate planning lawyer can help you prevent complications and relational issues. The last thing you want is to leave your loved ones in disagreement over your final wishes, by planning ahead, you can prevent this turmoil from happening.


Thank you to our contributors at Yee Law Group for the above information.