Blended families need special wills drafted to account for more complex life circumstances. Many people requiring blended family wills want to ensure that their estate provides for their children and stepchildren in a way that accords with their wishes. Its also a priority for many blended families that assets don’t accidentally fall into the hands of an ex-spouse.
Why is it important to have a blended family will drafted by a solicitor?
There are a few key problems that can arise in blended family estate matters, such as:
- Your biological children could miss out on their intended share in your estate. This could happen if you pass your estate to your spouse and they subsequently pass the estate to their children, or if they change their will so that their estate will pass to a new spouse or partner.
- Your estate could be distributed to some of your biological children contrary to your wishes.
- Your stepchildren could challenge the estate, especially if they are not provided for at all under the will.
- Your ex-spouse or de facto partner could also challenge your estate. If you pass away without a valid will and have children with your ex-spouse, they may be entitled to a large portion of your estate against your wishes.
If a will is ambiguous, the executors might need to apply to the Court to seek an order as to the meaning of the will. In blended family circumstances, this could lead to unintended results and a large bill for the estate. An expertly drafted will avoids these pitfalls and will ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes. Careful estate planning and will drafting can ensure that the present and future needs of family members are properly recognised.
What can the solicitors at Butlers do?
We are highly experienced in estate planning for blended families. We can:
- Draft specifically tailored blended family wills for you and your spouse or partner
- Advise you on estate planning strategies to ensure fairness, including gifting of superannuation benefits, life insurance choices, and gifting a life estate in a home
- Advise you on the impact of estate, probate and tax laws
- Establish family and testamentary trusts
- Ensure your estate plan provides for any potential relationship breakdown
- Advise you on the selection of executors and guardians
- Prepare and implement Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian documents to protect your estate if you become incapacitated
- Identify potential litigation risks and assist you in planning your estate in a manner that minimises the risks of litigation
- Represent you in estate litigation proceedings
- Safely store your wills