Last Updated on July 19, 2022 by Tresi Weeks
Even if you’re rich and famous, the chances you will need an estate planning lawyer near McKinney is very high as each individual has personal matters.
Recent headlines put one famous blended family in the spotlight when Rumer Willis and dance pro Val Chmerkovskiy won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. The opportunity to compete on the hugely successful show not only brought Rumer professional success and direction, but some personal triumphs as well. In Dancing interviews, Rumer’s family openly shared how she struggled in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce, so it was a sweet moment when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore came together in a strong showing of love and support for their daughter.
The dynamics of this famous family aren’t all that uncommon today. Bruce and Demi were married for 13 years and had three daughters together; Rumer is 26 years old, Scout is 23, and Tallulah is 21. The two divorced in 1998. Bruce married Emma Heming in 2009 and has two daughters; Mabel is 3 years old and Evelyn is 1. Bruce’s first three daughters were all grown up before their half-sisters were even born; certainly, Bruce has some important issues to contemplate when it comes to his probate estate plan. Perhaps you have a blended family?
What Would a Blended Family Estate Plan Look Like?
The essential issues of estate planning for Bruce’s family aren’t much different from other blended families; and it’s possible you’d share similar goals and in the case of Bruce, his estate plan would need to:
- Provide for his wife
- Protect his three oldest daughters’ share of his estate from being lost to Emma, Emma’s children with Bruce, or any future spouse and children Emma may have
- Ensure that his children’s inheritance is protected from creditors, lawsuits and imprudent spouses
- Place protective conditions on children’s access to trust funds (i.e., age)
- Ensure that if one of his children died while married and without children, remaining trust funds would stay with Bruce’s family
- Ensure that if one of his children died while married with at least one child, the trust would remain intact for the benefit of Bruce’s grandchild(ren)
- Ensure that his oldest three daughters will not be forced to wait until Emma’s death in order to inherit
Bruce and his attorney would have discussed options for achieving his objectives – perhaps even before he married his second wife – and put a plan into action. Such a plan might include a pre-marital or post-marital agreement, a revised will, multiple trusts, and more; there are a multitude of legal tools for accomplishing an individual’s particular goals – your attorney can help you decide which options are the most effective and efficient for your needs. The important thing is that you have that conversation and implement the chosen plan.
The bottom line: there are serious implications surrounding estate planning for blended families. It’s vital for individuals considering a subsequent marriage to reflect on the consequences of failing to plan, especially when there are children from previous marriages. Unfortunately, there are many who do just that – they fail to plan – and the potentially dreadful result cannot be undone. So then, why would anyone fail to plan? Here are some common reasons:
Why Would One Fail to Incorporate a Living Estate Plan?
- Belief that the State’s legal process will accomplish what is fair and right
- Thinking one doesn’t have enough assets to warrant a living trust.
- Confidence that loved ones will know the decedent’s wishes
- A lack of awareness regarding (1) the risks of not planning, and (2) the rewards of a great plan
- A desire to avoid (1) thinking about dying or becoming incapacitated, and (2) the major decisions that come with the territory
Perhaps you have believed one or more of these rationales – but you need to know that they are misguided. More importantly, they can be counterproductive to getting what you really want. You want to know that your assets are going to the people you choose. You want to know that your assets will be protected for as long as possible for the benefit of your family. You want to know that your spouse and all of your children are equally protected when it comes to benefiting from your estate.
What else is important to you? Do you have a child with special needs? Maybe you have a child with an addiction or an untrustworthy spouse, and you aren’t sure how to handle his or her inheritance. Everyone’s situation is unique – that’s why a one-size-fits-all Probate Code or form Will is not what you want to rely on. Expert estate planning will help you define, prioritize and execute your wishes…so you get what you really want.
Why You Need to Trust a Professional With Your Estate Plan
Tresi Moore Weeks is an attorney and founder of Weeks Law Firm, PLLC in Plano, Texas, where she assists clients with estate planning, special needs planning, probate, and guardianship. After 11 years as a trial attorney, she opened her own law firm 14 years ago so that she could practice her favorite area of law, estate planning. As an advocate for her own child’s special needs, she became active with the disability rights and advocacy community. Tresi is a frequent speaker on special needs trust for groups of parents of children with special needs, and on basic estate planning for women’s and church groups.
If you wish to know more about estate planning near McKinney, TX, please do not hesitate to give us a call today.