Blended Family Financial Difficulties

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When a parent gets remarried there is likely to be tension between the new spouse and the children from previous relationships. Much of that tension can be eased by ensuring the family finances are properly handled.

On television and in movies blended families tend to be shown in one of two extremes. They are either portrayed as naturally harmonious with everyone getting along or they are portrayed as constantly fighting with children and step-parents always at odds.

The reality is usually somewhere in between.

Blended families usually do have some tensions, but by properly managing the current and future finances much of that tension can be alleviated.

Recently, Advisor.ca offered some advice about ways to do that in “Five ways to navigate blended-family finances,” including:

  • Make sure all estate planning documents are updated to reflect the circumstances of the blended family. Asset distributions may need to be modified to make sure everyone gets a fair share of a parent’s estate.
  • Choose an executor carefully as you will need to designate someone who has the respect and trust of both the new spouse and the previous children.
  • Creating a trust and a gifting plan can be great ways to make sure adequate provision is made for everyone in the family. Trusts can be used to make sure a spouse has the necessary resources to live on and that children from a previous marriage cannot be cut off from receiving an inheritance.
  • Buying life insurance can be another good idea as it can provide needed cash for expenses and help equalize inheritances when assets are difficult to divide.
  • In some situations the best thing to do is to get a prenuptial agreement before getting remarried.

Whatever you do, seek the counsel of a qualified estate planning attorney.

Reference: Advisor.ca (Aug. 3, 2016) “Five ways to navigate blended-family finances,”

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