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Blended families and estate planning options

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2019 | Estate Planning

It is not uncommon in today’s society for a person to be married more than one time during their life. Many Texas families involve remarried couples with children from prior relationships. These families may develop healthy and happy bonds but do pose some unique challenges when it comes time to consider distribution of assets upon the death of the spouses or parents.

As explained by Forbes, any person who is in a blended family should look beyond the creation of a simple for their estate planning needs. Even when relationships are good within a blended family, things can get tricky when assets flow from one spouse to the surviving spouse and that person’s children instead of the children of the first spouse to die.

The Tax Advisor indicates there are some types of trusts that may offer the right balance of taking care of a surviving spouse while also leaving assets for one’s children and grandchildren. An AB trust is one example. Assets are titled to the trust and, upon one spouse’s death allow income to flow to the surviving spouse for the remainder of their life at which time assets flow to the heirs of the first spouse.

In addition to finding the type of trust that offers the needed flexibility for a family’s situation, couples should think carefully about who they name to be the trustee. This should be a person able to balance the differing interests of various parties. Beneficiary designations on life insurance policies or retirement accounts should also be addressed when making a comprehensive estate plan as part of a blended family.

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