A blended family is where there are children from more than one relationship and they raise particular challenges for estate planning.
A typical example is where a man has children with his first wife, then re-marries a younger woman and has additional children with her.
Because marriage automatically revokes all prior Wills, his older children may be concerned that his new wife and her children may influence him to their advantage, at the expense of the older children’s inheritances.
This is a growth area for lawyers who work in the area of Family Provision claims, where Wills and estates are challenged in Court.
If you have a blended family, you need to exercise considerable caution when creating your Will and estate plan.
Find a lawyer who specialises estate planning in Adelaide to help you create a modern integrated estate plan. This lawyer will probably recommend, among other things, that you carefully consider:
- Titling your assets to balance their legal ownership.
- Creating a discretionary trust that will remove your assets from your probate estate.
- Guarding against allegations of incapacity, by getting examined by a doctor to obtain a written certificate confirming you have all of your faculties, so it can be attached to your Will and other estate-planning documents.
- The “what-if” consequences of certain events, such as your second spouse also re-marrying after your death.
Be careful. This can become a potential minefield of litigation, where competing family interests & loyalties can divide into battle-groups all too easily.
Rod Genders is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in accident compensation and estate planning in Adelaide. His boutique specialist law firm is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia – visit it at www.genders.com.au . Rod is also a prolific author and speaker. Some of his articles and books on Wills, Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Planning may be found at www.genders.com.au/adelaide-lawyer-blog.
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