Estate Planning Needed For Blended Families People with children or even modest assets should implement some estate planning. If you are in a blended family proper estate planning can be even more important. Second families can include children from a prior marriage as well as joint children ….. “his, hers and theirs.” Blended families can consist of both younger and older couples, and nearly everyone in between. A new spouse may be significantly younger, close in age to the children from a previous marriage. In such situations there can be more friction between the step-parent and step-children. In general, parents want to ensure that their assets will pass to their children, not their stepchildren. Unfortunately, without good estate planning, there is no guarantee that their children will inherit their assets. If the couple does not think this through and creates common “I love you” wills such that their assets pass to the survivor of them, there is a significant likelihood their children will be totally disinherited. This is because all of their assets will pass to the surviving spouse to do with as he or she pleases. Americans are living longer, and sometimes remarrying much later in life, making these issues come into play more often. The generational divide, with the divergent attitudes and habits which often surface, can be a recipe for disaster if proper estate planning is not in place. Baby boomer children expecting an inheritance may have to wait much longer than expected. Who should pay for the cost of the surviving spouse’s care? Should stepchildren have their inheritance depleted by the cost of a stepparent’s assisted living care? Or should this burden fall solely on the natural children? Answer these questions with counsel from an experienced estate planning attorney. Counsel provided by a seasoned professional is the key.