Estate Planning for Blended Families

If you are one of the millions of Americans who have children from a previous marriage and you re-marry a person who too has children from a previous marriage, you have what is known as a “blended family.”

While you deal with all the issues that come with a blended family on a daily basis, too often, the estate planning issues of a blended family are ignored.

The best time to deal with estate planning for a blended family is before you become a blended family. Entering into a premarital or prenuptial agreement with your future spouse allows you to outline how to treat your children’s inheritances at your deaths.  

Under Missouri law, you cannot disinherit your spouse, but you can either intentionally or unintentionally disinherit a child.  With a premarital agreement, you and your future spouse can agree on what will happen to your individual and joint assets upon your deaths so that what you both intend your children to receive and how they are to receive it are reduced to a legally binding contract between your future spouse and you.  

For a variety of reasons, a premarital agreement may not be an option for you. Even without a premarital agreement, your existing estate planning documents should be brought up to date to ensure that your children are taken care of consistent with your wishes. If you don’t have an existing estate plan, now is the time to have one prepared that provides for your children according to your wishes and their needs.

If you have children from a prior marriage and are planning to remarry or if you have children and are already married, give us a call at (314) 966-7766 so that we can show you what options you have to protect your children.