Family Estate Planning in Southwest Missouri
Serving Families throughout Southwest Missouri and the Ozarks
Times have changed. Blended families now outnumber traditional nuclear families. As a result, the need for blended family estate planning in southwest Missouri has grown.
Many blended families face unique social, psychological and economic challenges. As a result, over 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Fortunately, there are numerous organizations and support groups dedicated to helping blended families with these challenges.
Estate planning for blended families is especially important. Our office has helped hundreds of blended families complete their estate plan.
If you already have an estate plan created when you were “previously” married, then we can help bring it up-to-date to reflect your new relationship.
An Estate Plan is simply part of being a grown-up.
As life throws curve balls your way (as life always will) a complete estate plan keeps you and your children protected. While “who gets what and when” are important aspects of estate planning, the primary purpose of my estate planning process is to empower clients to make important choices now so their family will always be ready to weather life’s storms.
Without proper legal planning, your ex-spouse (as surviving parent/guardian) would likely be appointed by the probate court to manage the inheritance you leave to your minor children. To make matters worse, what if your children later predecease your ex-spouse, and are single and childless at that time? Who would inherit your assets then? That is right … your ex-spouse, as the next-of-kin of your children.
Chances are you made a few solemn promises to your new spouse on your wedding day. Among them were promises to be there through thick and thin, personally and financially. In the absence of a premarital agreement to maintain separate assets, most spouses in blended families tend to blend their wealth. For example, they title their respective assets in the names of both spouses and also designate one another as the primary beneficiary of their respective retirement plans and life insurance policies.
Regardless of whether children are reared in a traditional nuclear family or in a blended family, great care should be given to protect any inheritance both for them and from them. For starters, wealth representing a lifetime of your hard work and thrift can be squandered in very short order. Dollars earned just spend differently than dollars inherited. In addition to good old-fashioned squandering, an inheritance can quickly vanish through divorces, lawsuits and bankruptcies.
Fortunately, with proper (and very careful) estate planning, you can both honor your vows to your new spouse and provide an inheritance that is protected for and even from your own children.