Nicole J. Zuvich
Blended families, estate planning, and the remainder trust
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Living in a blended family can have an impact on your estate plan. Most people don’t realize this, which can put their loved ones’ financial wellbeing at risk. It can also jeopardize the true intent for your estate, which completely upends the purpose of estate planning. That’s why if you’re part of a blended family, then you need to be diligent in ensuring that you have your bases covered and that you understand how your estate planning decisions will affect your loved ones in the future.
Intestate succession in New York
As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, the biggest risk factor for those who are part of a blended family is intestate succession. This is because passing away with any sort of estate plan allows for your spouse to inherit a large portion of your estate without any obligation to leave those assets to your biological children from a previous marriage. In many instances, inheriting spouses instead choose to leave those assets to heirs in their own family line. But you have ways to avoid this.
Utilizing a remainder trust
One of the best ways to avoid that sort of outcome is to utilize a remainder trust. Here, you simply leave your assets in a trust which pays your spouse over time but leaves any remaining balance in the trust to specified individuals upon your spouse’s passing. In other words, you dictate where those funds go once your spouse passes away instead of leaving that decision to your spouse.
Know your estate planning options
There are a lot of creative ways that you can tailor your estate plan to suit your needs. You simply have to know your options so that you can choose those that are right for you. If you’d like to learn more about those options and what they can do for you and your family, then now may be the time to discuss your circumstances with an estate planning attorney who you can trust.