You see the title of this post, “How Parents Can Prevent From Disinheriting Their Kids When They Are In A Blended Family.” I’m gonna start with the statistics. This statistic you already know. 50% of marriages end up in divorce. 7% of secondary marriages end up in divorce. But here’s a key statistic. 43% of marriages come from a previous marriage. Almost half of the people that are married today come from another marriage.
Now, a lot of times we get our relationships referred over to us. So because we help federal employees and their families and their colleagues, we get folks that are referred to us that work in the private sector that works for the city, state and local governments that are entrepreneurs, business owners, etc.
When we get someone referred over to us we will always start with creating and updating their estate plan. We’ll work with our legal team, and go through the process of updating their estates or creating an estate plan. A lot of times a lot of families need some type of trust documents to be drafted. In today’s day and age, there are a ton of blended families.
What is a blended family? Well, a blended family is when you’re married, and you have kids from a previous spouse, outside of your current marriage. 43% of people that are married today come from secondary marriages. So in a lot of cases, there’s a 50/50 chance that the spouse (the wife) is gonna get remarried. When she gets remarried, let’s say she has more kids. Well, because it’s a revocable living trust that she is in control of, she can make changes to the trust. And, naturally, you’re gonna wanna make changes to the trust so all of the new assets go to all of your kids, all of your bloodlines. And you really can’t be mad at someone that wants to do that because for the most part, ideally, you always wanna make sure that your kids get a good step ahead, right?
Now, depending on the relationship between the spouse and the step-children, if there’s a good close relationship in a lot of cases, the spouse will make sure the step-kids are taken care of. But if the relationship really wasn’t that secure, or really wasn’t that tight, you definitely can see the spouse making changes so everything will go to their new spouse and definitely to their new kids. That means the first spouse that passed away, his three kids would be disinherited. So here’s the thing, I want you to understand this. It doesn’t matter if you have one wife, two wives, three wives, or four wives. You’re gonna love your spouse, period.
Do you have to put yourself in a position where you are protecting your spouse because you love your spouse? And you’re protecting the kids as well. It’s your responsibility, and what happens is the issue really isn’t the fact of getting the trust documents drafted. It’s really not understanding what potentially could happen and whose burden and responsibility it’s gonna fall on. It’s your responsibility to:
- Make sure your other spouse is taken care of.
- Make sure upon the passing of the second spouse, everything goes to the kids so the kids aren’t disinherited.
When we go through our intake form, we’ll ask, “Hey, are you a blended family? Are the kids together? Or do they come from previous marriages, etc?” And we will look into creating an irrevocable trust. Let’s say, the mister, or missus there’s an irrevocable trust created, meaning that nothing can be changed. Upon the passing of the first spouse, let’s just use the husband. There’s an irrevocable trust put into place so all the assets will transfer to the wife. And then let’s say the wife remarries. The wife will… can use and benefit from that, from those assets. Maybe we can put in a revocable trust that the wife can benefit from until she remarries. That’ll be a good idea, right?
Upon the passing of the second spouse, all of the assets will go to the kids, the first kids, and the husband’s original kids. Therefore, you will help prevent your kids from being disinherited from all of your assets, all of the things that you’ve saved and worked hard for over multiple decades.