Warning: If You Have a Blended Family Including a Second Marriage and Children from a Previous Marriage, Proper Estate Planning is The Difference Between a Simple Estate and an Expensive Estate

I was recently presenting to a wonderful group of people at one of our live educational events where we were presenting information regarding probate, trusts, and avoiding nursing home poverty. Follow our event I spoke with a wonderful couple that had several questions about estate planning when it comes to blended families. Specifically, this couple discussed with me that this was their second marriage and they both had children from a prior marriage. This couple had a lot of questions and concerns on providing for each other, but also providing for their adult children after death.

This is a very common concern of many Tennessee families that I speak with. One of the concerns that blended families fail to realize is that the children of the first spouse to pass away usually end up being disinherited. A common situation is where the first spouse to die leaves everything to the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse never remarries, but leaves everything to her children, thereby leaving the first spouse’s children out of the will and completely disinheriting those adult children.

Unfortunately, this is not only a common scenario but a very big concern of blended families. However, there is a legal strategy that can be put in place to ensure that the adult children from the two spouse’s previous marriages are always provided for regardless of what the surviving spouse may do after death. This strategy is referred to as a revocable living trust. This is a legal document and a living document that allows for the transfer of your assets to your loved ones after death without any government intrusion or probate court process. However, a revocable living trust can also be designed so that it becomes irrevocable upon the death of the first spouse. Therefore, a trust can be designed so that a portion of your assets will always be set aside for your adult children from a previous marriage. This can provide each spouse with the peace of mind that no matter who may pass away first that their adult children will be provided for regardless of what the surviving spouse may do later in life. Nevertheless, the surviving spouse will always be able to amend the trust concerning his or her portion of the trust assets.

If you have questions about estate planning in Tennessee, establishing a revocable living trust or an irrevocable Medicaid trust, avoiding nursing home poverty and Medicaid planning, or any other estate planning topics, then I encourage you to attend one of our free live educational events scheduled this month. At these events, you will hear a lot of real life stories about families that paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses, families that were able to avoid unnecessary expenses, and families that were able to protect their assets from unnecessary nursing home costs and expenses.

I look forward to speaking with you at one of our upcoming live educational events!

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