Planning Solutions for Blended Families

Structure Your Estate Planning So No One is Left Out

Yours, Mine, Ours – But how to be fair to everybody? You want to make sure that your surviving spouse is cared for, but you also want to make sure that at least some of what is left of your share of assets at the surviving spouse’s death to goes to your children. It’s a dilemma, but one that can be solved. We can advise you on how to structure your estate planning so no one is left out.

Probate surprises

Blended families can also lead to probate surprises. Many people think they don’t need a Will because they believe that when they die, their assets will pass automatically to their surviving spouse. But that’s not necessarily true. In Texas, if the surviving spouse is not the parent of the deceased spouse’s children, the deceased spouse’s share of community property passes to his or her children, not to the surviving spouse. The problem can be compounded if the deceased spouse has a minor child. In that case, a court appointed guardian (who will probably be the parent of the minor – in other words, the ex-spouse) will be in charge of the minor child’s share of the deceased spouse’s community property. Imagine owning your house with your deceased spouse’s minor child whose share is controlled by your spouse’s ex. This is not a situation anyone wants, but can be avoided with proper planning.

How do I take care of my spouse and my children from a previous marriage?

This is a common question and the solution varies depending on the family dynamics. There are estate planning tools for making sure that children from a previous marriage are taken care of, while still providing for the financial needs of a surviving spouse .

When we meet with you, we review your family situation, your assets, and your goals, then work with you to come up with a plan to protect your specific needs and those of your spouse and children.