Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wills and the New Blended Family

Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law Today, it is common to have blended families with adult stepchildren, wayward sons and daughter, and nonfamily close knit friends. In these situations, if you want to leave large items (houses, boats) or bank accounts to some children (step, biological, or adopted) and disinherit others, the best way to ensure your wishes are followed is to create a revocable trust.

A revocable trust allows a person to keep control of his assets and change gifts as relationships change. At the same time, it avoids probate. In some states, the probate process can be a long drawn out pain in the neck. Moreover, wills are much more likely to be challenged than trusts.

Going back to the blended family, the trust doesn't have the problem that is created by intestate laws. Indeed, if a child successfully challenges a will that disinherits her, the result may shut out a favorite stepchild or friend or give a significant amount of money to a birth child who you disavowed years before your death.

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