Blended families in Wisconsin often have a number of complicated decisions to make over the years. In some cases, these complications arise when people come together with small children from previous relationships. In other cases, the issues can manifest when people with adult children who are already outside the home marry later in life, leading to a far more distant version of a blended family. One of the areas where issues can come up is estate planning, where it can be important for both parents to separate the interests of their children from the interests of their spouse.
After all, many people write wills in order to leave all their belongings to their spouses. Therefore, the spouse will then control the distribution of all the assets as part of his or her own estate plan. When blended families are involved, this can be a complex question. The surviving spouse may well favor his or her own children over stepchildren. This can lead to family conflicts, resentment and children being cut out of their inheritance. Therefore, this kind of simple will may not be appropriate for a blended family.
There are several options that people can pursue in order to produce an equitable solution. Trusts offer significant flexibility as well as privacy, and they can be structured to leave everything to a spouse during his or her lifetime with the balance passing to the children after the spouse’s death. In other cases, people may simply want to split their estate between their spouse and their children in the first place.
There is a range of options available to blended families looking to plan for the future. An estate planning attorney can provide compassionate and accurate advice and guidance on developing wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other key estate documents.