Blended families create special problems. Children of past marriages need to be considered and their interests protected, without it impacting on the needs of a current spouse or partner. The changing demographic of families in this modem age means the problems surrounding blended families are now more acute than ever.
- Will makers forget how assets are held – without intending it, assets can automatically pass to a joint owner or nominated beneficiary, and not form part of the estate of the deceased person, thus frustrating any will provision intended to deal with that asset.
- Providing for a surviving spouse or partner, where the will maker “trusts” that person to look after the children of all relationships, not just that survivor’s own children. It is a dangerous approach, and one almost certain to create conflict between the children of the deceased and the beneficiary.
- Failure to recognise that natural children may only have one chance of making an estate claim, forcing the issue even where there is an excellent relationship between the surviving spouse and those children.