At Marcus, Gould & Sussman, LLP, we work with our clients to develop, update and execute estate plans that fit their unique lives and needs. One estate plan does not work for everyone and the plethora of tools available allow people to creatively address even the most complex situations in the ways they truly want. For people getting married for the second or subsequent time, estate planning takes on some new twists. 

As explained by CNBC, in most nuclear families, people assume that when one spouse dies, the other inherits the assets that eventually get passed onto their joint children. In a blended family, however, that flow of assets is far from a safe assumption. The comingling of assets brought into the new marriage by each spouse makes this process uniquely different. 

Fortunately, many types of trusts give remarried couples the ability to leave select assets for their spouses while ensuring other assets remain safeguarded for each spouse’s biological children. When it comes to family heirlooms. wills may outline the ultimate ownership of individual items and act as an ideal complement to a trust that addresses assets like homes, vacation properties and more. Beneficiary designations also give couples the ability to distribute their assets to multiple parties. 

If you would like to learn more about how you and your spouse can appropriately create an estate plan that addresses your desire to provide for each other as well as for your children from prior relationships, please feel free to visit the blended family asset plans page of our New York estate planning website.