Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

Estate planning with blended families and different goals

Parents are not always on the same page when it comes to estate planning. This can make things very complicated, especially when deciding what to do with blended families.

For instance, one woman noted that she had a daughter with her first husband. She then got divorced, married again and had a son.

If she was given full control of all assets -- if her husband passed away before her, for instance, and everything was then in her name -- she would have simply written the will out to split everything in half. Her daughter would get 50 percent and her son would get the other 50 percent.

Unfortunately, her current husband did not think that was fair. He said he thought the daughter, who had a different birth father, may get another inheritance that his son wouldn't receive. As such, he wanted to give his son a full two-thirds of their current assets, leaving just around 33 percent to the daughter. He felt that any money from the girl's biological father would then even things out, though the woman said they didn't know for sure if she was getting anything from him.

Are you in a complicated family situation, and are you and your spouse having a hard time agreeing on how you'll do your estate planning? This can be tough, but it's important to be respectful and civil, working together to find a solution. If you can't, though, you may also want to look into your own legal rights to see what you can do to leave proper assets to all of your children, even if you pass away before your spouse.

Source: Oprah, "How Do I Write a Will for My Blended Family?," Suze Orman, accessed April 13, 2017

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