Estate Planning for Blended Families
For lots of different reasons, the traditional nuclear family is not the norm and different blended family groupings are very typical. There can be multi-generational families in which grandparents are helping to raise grandchildren. In situations in which there has been a divorce or death of a spouse and spouses are remarried, this creates many unique Estate Planning questions and considerations. Sometimes couples have all assets separated, and more often than not, they have all assets jointly held. One spouse may have significant earnings or retirement assets, while the other spouse does not. Sometimes, one spouse has one set of children, the other spouse has a different set of children, and they may also have children together. A spouse cannot be disinherited and is entitled to receive at least a 33.3% share of an Estate, or a 50% share in the case of an Intestate Estate. (Of course, that is only enforced by filing a Will contest case). Sadly, I am sometime contacted after someone's father or mother has passed away, and the Will had 100% of an Estate given to the spouse who is not the biological father or mother of the child, and the step-mother or step-father then adopts a Will in which all of the family's assets are given to his or her children, and not the biological children of first spouse who passed away. Just from these few scenarios, it quickly becomes apparent how complicated Estate Planning can be for blended families, particularly if different sides of the family do not get along well with each other. If you need help sorting all of this out, we can help. Call the Law Offices of Scott G. Hoh today to schedule an appointment. (610) 374-5841.