In the forty years since the last episode of The Brady Bunch was recorded, the number of mixed (or blended) families in the United States has skyrocketed.
Nearly half of American marriages end in divorce, including many with children. Divorced parents are often ready to try matrimony once again, frequently marrying a new partner who also has children, and a mixed family comes into being. In the vicinity of 43 percent of all marriages are the second time around for at least one spouse, and 65 percent of remarriages come with children. Added to that are single parents who marry, and GLBT parents, some of whom were married, some coming from registered domestic partnerships, and some who have formed unofficial families, depending in part on the jurisdiction where they lived previously. (New Jersey now recognizes same-sex marriages.)
Estate planning is important for every family with children, and it becomes more complicated when each partner has children from a previous marriage or relationship.
The Need to Balance the Interests of Members of a Blended Family
Each spouse may bring children, assets, and obligations acquired in a previous marriage or partnership to the new family configuration, creating a plethora of challenges, not the least of which is estate planning to provide for all members of the new blended family.
If your family is a mixture of “mine, yours, and ours,” you will need to balance the needs of your spouse or partner and his or her children with the needs of your children from your previous marriage or relationship. This may become complicated and even contentious at times, but carefully identifying your goals and the needs of all concerned, with the help of an experienced and understanding New Jersey estate planning lawyer, can simplify the process and ensure that everyone’s needs are met in your estate planning strategy.
New Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers for Atlantic and Cape May Counties
If you are a parent or partner in a mixed family situation and want to make sure that every member of your family is accounted for in your estate plan, the estates and trusts attorneys at the firm of Barnes Law Group, LLC, have the experience and know-how to advise you and help you create the planning options that will serve the needs of your entire family.
At Barnes Law Group, LLC, we have more than 20 years of estate planning experience, and we know how to use New Jersey’s laws and the available estate planning tools to accomplish your goals. We will help you decide if you and your spouse or partner need wills, wish to establish trusts, or prefer a combination of tools, as well as appointing guardians and conservators to protect all the family’s children in the event of either or both parents’ death. We will review your insurance policies and retirement accounts to ensure that you have updated the named beneficiaries to reflect your new family circumstances, and will ensure that your estate and that of your new spouse or partner are carefully designed to avoid conflict or the exclusion of any child from a share of the blended family’s assets.
Estate Planning Services to Protect Your New Family’s Future
With 20-plus years of total estates and trusts experience, the attorneys at Barnes Law Group, LLC are prepared to provide you with the estate planning services that will serve the needs of your blended family, including guardianships, conservatorships, wills, trusts, beneficiary accounts, and more.
Call us today to arrange a time to come into one of our two Jersey Shore area offices, located in North Wildwood and Egg Harbor Township, to discuss creating an estate plan to provide for your mixed family’s future.