Written by attorney William Kenneth Sweeney


The blended family is one where at least one spouse has at least one child from a prior marriage or relationship. For most, a second marriage or more can be a blessing. But for some they come with special challenges, especially in the area of probate. Blended families, which are now quite common, come in all different shapes and sizes. For example, the husband may have his own children, the wife may have her own children and the couple may have children together. The dynamics will be different in the case of a husband and wife remarrying while they are younger and have minor children, rather than remarrying when the husband and wife are older and their respective children are all adults. Blended families are a diverse group of people and without proper estate planning can give rise to probate and, at times, catastrophic results. When you and/or your spouse have children from previous relationships, in addition to their own children together, the situation can become rather complex. The same is true for the assets you and your spouse may have brought into the relationship, as well as those assets you accumulate together. Dying without an estate plan, such as a will or trust, (or intestate) has its own problems.

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