Estate planning involves preparing your assets for distribution to your family after you pass away. If you have been married just once and never divorced, the way these assets will flow down the family tree is pretty straightforward. However, in today’s society divorce has become extremely common. It is difficult to find precise, fully supportable statistics but most studies show that somewhere in the vicinity of 40%-50% of all marriages end in divorce. And the majority of these people wind up getting married again, in many cases to someone who has children from a previous marriage or marriages.
This has a profound impact on the proper course of action when you are planning your estate. There are so many possible details that can arise on a case-by-case basis it is impractical to attempt to discuss them all here. But to paint with a broad brush, the issue that concerns people more than any other is making sure their children are provided for.
Let’s say you were to get remarried without any prenuptial agreement in place and all of your property became joint or community property. If you predeceased your spouse, could you be certain that he or she would take care of your children from your previous marriage or marriages?
These are very delicate issues, and it can seem insulting to suggest that your new spouse would be so callous as to ignore your verbally stated wishes with regard to your children. But, the relationship that existed on the wedding day may not always persist. And, your children may or may not have a positive relationship with your new spouse. The well-being of your children is not something that should be left up to chance, and this is something to consider when you are planning your estate if you are a member of a blended family.