I recently had a nice couple from the West Chester area come to my Downingtown office to have a Will drafted. After many years of having this on their “to do” list, they finally wanted to achieve peace of mind and get their affairs in order. This husband and wife represent a growing type of family in today’s age; they are considered a blended family since the husband has children from a previous marriage.
Creating a Last Will and Testament when stepchildren are involved creates additional decisions as to how they will inherit or be treated as beneficiaries. Will the father provide a separate fund for the children from his first marriage upon his death? Will his second wife inherit everything? When she dies will his children from his previous marriage be provided for at the same time as his children from his second marriage? Should a separate life insurance policy be set up where the children from the first marriage are beneficiaries upon his death? Or, will all of the children be treated equally? There are many questions that need to be addressed and all options should be considered carefully.
Many of these decisions are based on the nature of the relationships of the parties involved. There is no set rule. Guidance from an estate attorney on how to structure your assets upon death is crucial in seeing that your wishes are carried out.