Estate planning for couples involved in blended families is a major estate planning challenge. If you leave everything to a surviving spouse, they are generally free to re-write their will and exclude your children, effectively disinheriting them. If you leave everything to the children, and sidestep your spouse, then a war may ensue. The surviving spouse has claims he or she can bring against your estate. Many people feel an obligation to both: to their new spouse and to their children from a prior relationship. Whatever the client’s goal, we use a variety of tools to ensure that their wishes are carried out. Those tools include spousal trusts, alter ego trusts, estate plan agreements, and marital agreements.
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