Estate planning for blended families

So many of Nevada’s families are considered to be blended families, which means that one or both of the parties has children from a prior relationship. These types of families can present unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. Determining a structure that provides for a surviving spouse, each party’s children and possibly even stepchildren can all be accomplished.

Traditionally, each spouse leaves all of his or her estate to the surviving spouse. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the assets would then be distributed to the children — often in equal shares. However, when people with older children from a former relationship remarry, they often want to ensure that those children receive their inheritance prior to the demise of the surviving spouse.

Therefore, each person might receive a share of the estate, but the percentages will most likely be unequal. People tend to provide for the current spouse and any child or children that the parties might have together. Separate property is often set aside for the children from the prior relationship. This can result in unequal shares of the estate. Other issues are also taken into consideration such as whether one of the children has special needs.

In the end, providing for family members is a primary goal for many Nevada residents. Estate planning has many different ways to make that happen. Through the use of wills, trusts and other documents that direct the distribution of an individual’s property, it is possible to come up with a plan that satisfies the needs of family members, both current and from any prior relationships.

Source:, “Estate Planning: Unequal distributions that are fair“, Dennis Fordham, May 14, 2016

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Johnson & Johnson Law Offices - Probate Lawyers of Las Vegas, Nevada, provide representation throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Overton, Logandale, Mountain's Edge, Aliante, Anthem, Sun City, Siena, Boulder City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Summerlin, Southern Highlands and Green Valley. This includes the counties of Clark County, Nye County, Lincoln County, as well as greater Southern Nevada.

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