Blended Family Estate Planning

No two families are alike; every family has its own unique circumstances and traits. Taking your particular family situation into account can be important when it comes to a wide range of different legal issues, including estate planning.

What a person's family situation is can have a major impact on what their particular estate planning needs are, as different family circumstances can raise different estate planning concerns. For example, some special estate planning issues can arise when a person's family is a blended family.

Examples of things that can be important estate planning issues for individuals in blended families are:

  • How their ex-spouse will be treated in their estate plan.
  • How their new spouse will be treated in their estate plan.
  • How bequests to children will be divided between their biological children and their stepchildren.
  • Who in their blended family will be in control of making medical decisions for them if they become incapacitated.
  • How their estate planning goals have shifted upon the formation of their blended family and how to update their estate plan to reflect these new goals.

When a person becomes part of a blended family, it can be important for them to understand how the special estate planning concerns related to their new family situation can be addressed in wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, advanced directives and other estate planning mechanisms.

Experienced estate planning attorneys can help Michigan individuals in blended families with addressing the estate planning issues their family situation raises for them. Such attorneys understand the various ways a person's family situation can impact what their needs are when it comes to estate planning and can assist individuals in blended families and other family situations with forming or updating an estate plan in a way that takes into account their particular needs.

Source: Newsday, "Money Fix: estate planning for blended families," Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sept. 6, 2015

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