New York residents who have been married and then divorced or widowed and who are planning to get married again should put reviewing their estate plan near the top of their list of things to do as they approach their new marriage. Thinking about one’s estate plans is not generally considered to be a hot priority for couples who are in the middle of planning a wedding, but it is very important, especially for blended families.

A blended family’s unique estate planning situation comes from the desire most people have to leave something for their children but also provide for their surviving spouse. When the surviving spouse is not the biological parent of the children, things can get tricky. It is not out of the realm of possibility that a surviving spouse could remarry or choose not to pass assets on to the children despite any verbal agreements that may have been made with the spouse who has since passed away.

Forbes recommended that couples in a remarriage evaluate some of the types of trusts that are available as these tools may offer them the ability to effectively address both their children and each other in an estate plan. A will alone may not offer enough protection or detail to properly plan for the multiple parties involved in a blended family.

If you would like to learn more about how you and your partner may create a forward-looking estate plan that incorporates your wishes for all of your family members, please feel free to visit the blended family’s trusts and wills page of our New York estate planning website.