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Estate Planning for Blended Families

Complete estate planning which includes a trust, will and powers of attorney for health care and property is not only important to protect your assets from probate, but is also necessary to ensure that your children from a previous marriage or relationship receive your assets.

Often, we have clients who are married and have children from previous marriages or relationships. In these situations, it is a common misconception that upon the death of the parent and surviving spouse, all the assets will flow to the surviving natural born children and step-children of the surviving spouse.

Pursuant to the Probate Code, the basic rule is that absent legal adoption, stepchildren will not automatically inherit a share from his/her birth parent’s estate, or from the step-parent’s estate, because the step-parent, as the surviving spouse, would inherit all the assets from the deceased spouse. Thus, to ensure that children from a previous marriage or relationship inherit your property, it is important for blended families to have a trust to ensure not only that one’s assets are protected against probate, but that the assets will go where you intend.

Here at Chauvel & Glatt we know that your assets are important to you and that you want to ensure that your property will be distributed according to your wishes. We value our work and want to assist you in the best way we can. To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.


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