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Should I have a trust if I have a blended family?

| Oct 16, 2020 | Estate Planning

As a parent who now has a blended family, one thing that you might want to consider having is a revocable living trust. Estate planning attorneys would be happy to talk to you about the many ways that a revocable trust can benefit most individuals, but for blended families, they are the key to alleviating concerns about your children not receiving an inheritance that you intended for them to receive.

There are many reasons to opt for a trust if you have a blended family, such AS these three:

  • You can make sure that your heirs from any marriage are able to receive the assets you want to leave to them
  • You can establish a trust for a spouse and your children separately
  • You are able to protect assets against a spouse’s remarriage

First, think about your family and the way probate works. If you have children from a first marriage and children in a second marriage, an ex-spouse and a new spouse, a trust can help you set aside assets for anyone who would not receive them based on the state’s probate laws. For example, your state would normally pass on your assets to your current spouse after your death, then to that spouse’s children. If you have stepchildren or ex-stepchildren to whom you want to leave assets, then you’ll want to do that in your living trust.

Next, remember that you can establish separate trusts for each person to whom you want to leave assets. You can create subtrusts within your trust that give certain assets to certain individuals at certain points in their lives after you pass away.  You can change who gets what up until you pass when the trust becomes irrevocable. This makes sure that your children from a prior marriage are not unintentionally disinherited.

Finally, there is a chance that your widowed spouse chooses to remarry later after you pass. If all of your assets pass to that spouse, it means that those assets could then pass to their spouse if they die instead of to your children. Your children could, hypothetically, never see the assets you wanted them to have while your spouse’s new husband or wife’s children could end up getting your assets. How unfair is that? Setting up a trust can help prevent that from happening.

A trust is a great tool for protecting yourself and your assets.

A Pottstown Estate Planning Attorney (hyperlink) can help you with this process. The Attorneys at Rick Stock Law can talk to you more about setting up the right trusts for your situation or answering any questions that you have.