Creating an estate plan in a blended family

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2019 | Estate Planning

People in Nevada who have remarried but have children from a previous marriage need to take steps to ensure that both their spouse and children are taken care of in the estate plan. A simple will is usually not sufficient in these situations. If a person leaves everything to the spouse, that spouse may leave nothing to the children.

This may happen because of malice, but it is not necessarily the reason. The stepparent and children may simply drift apart over the years. The spouse could remarry and the new spouse might inherit assets. One solution is to create a trust that can benefit the spouse and then pass to the children when the spouse dies. Parents may want to consider leaving something for the children in a last will and testament so they do not have to wait for a stepparent to die to inherit. A trustee should be chosen who is experienced and prepared to deal with family conflict.

Another consideration is who to choose to make health care decisions. Usually, this is the spouse. However, in some cases, there could be conflict between the spouse and the children or even efforts to prevent one or the other from seeing the person. People should take family dynamics into account when making this decision.

An attorney may be able to assist a person in creating an estate plan that addresses these and other issues. One possibility for a trustee could be a professional or an institution, such as a bank. Some people pair a professional trustee for the legal and financial expertise with a family member to navigate the family situation. Another good strategy in estate planning, particularly when dealing with a blended family, is to talk to them about the plan. This can help them understand the rationale behind it and might reduce the likelihood of challenges.