Many people in Minnesota have unfortunately heard stories about family members arguing over a deceased relative’s will. These situations arise even in families in which the children are biological siblings and their parents remained married to each other until they died.
For blended families, the potential for these types of conflicts to arise may be even greater than in nuclear families. This highlights the importance of a good estate plan for remarried couples.
Supporting spouses and children
When a person marrying for the second or subsequent time thinks about how they want their assets directed after they die may face competing interests. As Forbes explains, they may well want to ensure their surviving spouse receives sufficient income on which to live and be cared for. At the same time, they may wish to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. A will alone may be unable to accommodate these preferences.
Future events may change plans
A will may indicate that the spouse inherits all assets and requests the assets eventually go to the person’s children after the spouse dies. However, nothing requires the spouse to adhere to those wishes. If they live long enough, the assets may simply run out. The surviving spouse may even remarry again, an event likely to add yet another layer of complication to the whole situation.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Minnesota an overview of some of the unique issues associated with estate planning for a blended family so they understand the importance of addressing this part of their lives early on.