Estate planning tips for blended families

When starting a relationship with someone with children, careful planning can assist in avoiding serious future issues.

“Couples who have re-partnered later in life are generally honest and pragmatic,” Robertson Hyetts’ estate planning lawyer Trent McGregor said.

“They are prepared to consider what could happen in the future and discuss solutions.”

A challenge for people who have come together later in life is to prepare a will which balances the needs of their new partner, while still providing for their own children from a previous relationship.

Trent says with a little bit of planning, there are a number of ways to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

“For couples with a family home and other assets, it’s often just a matter of ensuring that everyone gets something when the first person dies, he said.

“That might mean a percentage of the estate, or a specific asset, like a bank account, share portfolio or a life insurance policy.

“Superannuation can often be used tax effectively, for example by providing a reversionary pension to a surviving partner.” ( the nominated person, generally a spouse, will automatically continue receiving the pension after your death).

Owning the family home as tenants in common, rather than joint tenants, might also open up some option to provide for the current partner now, whilst still ensuring the equity reverts back to the children.

It’s also important to ensure Powers of Attorney are considered.

“Since March, a hierarchy of family members can make medical but not financial decisions for someone who has lost capacity.

“It’s important to ensure that the correct people are empowered to make decisions for you if you are not capable.”

For more information, or to make an appointment please contact Robertson Hyetts Solicitors on 5434 6666.