Upon meeting a new partner and deciding to get married after previously getting a divorce or losing a spouse to death, a person should feel hopeful about their future and their new family.
The joy that a new marriage may bring should not, however, prevent a person from prudently reviewing their estate plan to ensure that any children they have from their prior marriage receive their intended inheritance.
Blended families and complex estate planning needs
Adult children or even grandchildren may expect to receive a specific inheritance upon the death of their parent or grandparent. This may even have been discussed among the family. However, when that parent or grandparent remarries, things may change. Forbes explains that a simple will may lack the ability to ensure the children and grandchildren will receive what was expected if assets first flow to the surviving spouse.
Families must prepare themselves for any number of unexpected events after the death of the first spouse, including yet another remarriage on the part of the surviving spouse.
Trusts for spouses and children
Fortunately, people may select from a variety of trust types to find the one that provides for their loved ones appropriately. Some blended families find the use of a qualified terminable interest trust appropriate. According to Policy Genius, a QTIP trust allows assets to be titled into the trust. When the person dies, their surviving spouse may collect an income from the trust assets for the remainder of their life or for a certain time period.
When the surviving spouse eventually dies, the trust assets then flow to the children or the grandchildren of the spouse who established the trust.