For My Children

Estate Planning for Blended Families

Bringing two separate families together through a second marriage is becoming more common in today’s society.  Because of that, there are unique facets of each family’s dimension that need to be taken into consideration when doing estate planning involving multiple generations.

Blended Family Estate Planning Considerations



One family has more control than the other

  • Children from each family may feel that their opinions are not being taken into consideration
  • An expected inheritance may be at risk to the other family
  • The couple is not sharing their intentions with all children, making some feel left out  

Family of Surviving Spouse

  • Assets stay with the family of the surviving spouse who needed funds for long-term care, but were an asset of the deceased spouse

Money being passed outside of the family

  • Assets from a previous spouse who may be deceased could become part of an inheritance for the new family

Children of the deceased spouse has money

  • Limited funds available for surviving spouse who may need long-term care


  • Sentimental to one family, but being liquidated or sold because the surviving spouse doesn’t have the same connection

Long-term care

  • Prenuptial agreements do not protect the community spouse from long-term care costs
  • Assets of both spouses must be taken into consideration for spend-down

When planning for couples who are bringing separate families together, the goal is to assist with facilitating harmony through an estate plan which recognizes and involves both sides of the family providing protection for everyone involved.  Balancing conflict can be accomplished by providing information to all members of the family, establishing agents to represent both sides of the family, conducting family meetings, managing the expectations of the couple, and providing the security of access to information so agents can begin to work together.

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