During our modern era, estate planning is often times going to involve more than simply arranging for asset transfers within a nuclear family. For better or for worse, a high percentage of marriages end in divorce these days. The exact statistics vary a bit depending on the source, but it is safe to say that between 40% and 50% of marriages do not last, and the majority of people who get divorced remarry at some point in time. In most of these cases there are children involved and blended families are the result.
When this takes place one of the primary objectives of many people is to make sure that their children from previous marriages are taken care of when they are planning their estates. At the same time, they want to provide for their new spouse, and this can be done through the execution of a premarital agreement followed by the creation of a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust.
With these vehicles the surviving spouse receives income from the interest derived from resources that have been placed into the trust for the rest of his or her life. However, the surviving spouse does not have the power to decide who will inherit the remainder that exists after he or she passes away. When you create the trust you name that beneficiary or beneficiaries. So if you wanted to make sure that your children were provided for regardless of the decisions that your surviving spouse may make after you pass away (such as getting remarried) your interests would be served through the creation of a Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust.
These trusts are just one of the tools that are frequently utilized by estate planning attorneys who are devising estate plans for those who are members of blended families. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of estate planning for blended families, simply arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.