Estate Planning for Blended Families – (Hint: It’s not a very Brady world.)

Yes, they fit the broad definition of a blended family, but the story of the “lovely lady” and a “man named Brady” was, of course, simply that. A story. When turning off the TV and looking at today’s blended families, a first observation is how very unique and different they all are. (Or as one estate planner remarked: “If you’ve seen one blended family, you’ve seen one blended family.”)

Estate planning for blended families is complex and it requires a watchful eye and a delicate touch. Clients in blended families should understand that there are important additional issues unique to them that must be addressed, like how to properly provide for their spouse without accidentally disinheriting their own kids. If there are minor kids, planning for their custody adds further complexity.

These issues raise a number of questions around estate planning. Do your clients need a living will, a revocable living trust, an irreovcable trust, or charitable trusts? Do they know what they need? The options might seem overwhelming to clients, and understanding their needs is our first step in piecing this puzzle together.

Understandably, many couples will be inclined to procrastinate, uneager to revisit past relationships. But reaching a successful outcome to their estate planning demands that they plan with an eye toward the past as well as toward the future. Our experienced estate planning attorney’s can help facilitate those potentially painful conversations.
Even with careful planning and thorough documentation, unexpected disagreements can arise. Through the planning process, the couple may find their objectives aren’t completely consistent. Most times those differences can be worked out.

Our advice: Couples in blended marriages must identify their particular circumstances and the characteristics of their relationship that make them unique. We also honor their differences while guiding them toward those things they have in common.

The estate lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.

Contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 to schedule a consultation or use our online contact form.