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Trusts and estate planning for blended families

Most people in New Mexico know at least one person who has gotten divorced after having kids and then gotten married again. Blended families are part and parcel of today's society. In fact, The Tax Advisor indicates that even by 2013, one in four married couples included at least one spouse who had been married previously

While a new marriage opens the door to a second chance at a happy family life, it also opens the door to more complications when it comes to estate planning. In most cases, a person thinks about leaving their assets to their biological or adopted children after they die. At the same time, most spouses want to make sure their partner is taken care of after their death. Herein lies the challenge. How can a person provide for both their children and a new spouse, who might have children of their own as well?

Fidelity Investments indicates that there is no single solution to this question. Couples should engage in open and honest conversations about their wishes and responsibilities, including those responsibilities set forth by the courts relating to their existing children or former spouses. Partners should thoroughly review the assets and liabilities each person brings to the marriage and discuss their future wishes.

Some people find that a trust that provides an income stream for a surviving spouse yet names the first spouse's children as the ultimate beneficiaries a good option for these situations. The options can get tougher when the couple has not only their own children but new children together.

 

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