While divorce was once considered taboo, today, as we all know, it is beyond common. If the marriage generated kids, more often than not, it should make estate planning more complicated because there are additional issues to consider. Whether it is husband’s/dad’s new girlfriend who might become his wife; or wife/mom’s fiancé or new husband, the potential for new children and the addition of step-children has added a whole new dimension to estate planning.
For most people, an experienced wills and trusts attorney will anticipate issues that the client will never think about on his or her own. When an individual has a blended family the added complexity of the situation requires more thought both on the part of the client(s) and the attorney.
When planning with a second or blended family, a wills and trusts lawyer will be mindful of the dynamics of your individual circumstance. The attorney will take the time to learn about the children; about the finances of all the people involved; about the different types of assets; about medical situations that may affect individuals; and about the interplay between various family members, among other things. He/she will then craft a plan that incorporates what he/she has learned from the client(s).
As I have written before, most of the time the clients do not see the benefits of an experienced estate planning attorney’s work. Think about it. In virtually everything else that we pay for in life, we see the results of what we paid for shortly before or after we pay. The results of the work of a wills and trusts attorney almost always are not known until incapacity or death. When people do not give their full effort to obtaining the best will and/or trust for themselves, it is unlikely they will ever understand where they messed up. However, their family will know and will live with the results. This is all the more true in a blended family situation. Utilizing a competent wills and trusts attorney will often make things better for surviving family members and allow for relationships to continue flourishing!
Retaining an experienced estate planning attorney will give you the benefit of knowing that these matters will be dealt with in the way that you anticipate.
Estate Planning and Probate Attorney, Manhattan Beach Local, Sports Enthusiast