Estate Planning Strategies for Blended Families

Parents in blended families do not have to leave their heirs’ inheritances up to chance. You can protect your estate’s longevity by:

Establishing a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust allows many assets to be passed to heirs outside of probate, sparing beneficiaries the pain, rigors, and expenses associated with a formal estate succession. Additionally, since trust distributions can be conditioned, you may elect to prevent your heirs from receiving trust assets until they have reached a certain age or attained a certain level of education.

Nominating an Experienced Trustee

A successor trustee is charged with administering a revocable living trust after the trustor has passed away. Ideally, a trustee should be someone who is experienced, impartial, and capable of managing your assets without bias. Many Rhode Islanders ask their estate planning attorney to oversee their trusts for them.

Appointing a Trustworthy Health Care Proxy

Even close-knit, loving families can be torn apart by catastrophe. A health care proxy, or agent, is somebody authorized to make important medical decisions in the event that you are ever incapacitated by illness, injury, or disability. Since your spouse, children, and step-children may all disagree about who can best represent your interests, nominating a health care proxy can help avoid conflict.

Discussing Guardianship Arrangements With Your Spouse

A guardian is somebody who can take care of your child’s needs if you pass away before that child reaches the age of majority. Guardianship decisions are critically important for blended families, as the court could award custody to the child’s other parent, even if you and your current spouse have made alternate arrangements.

Do You Need to Talk With a Rhode Island Estate Planning or Probate Lawyer?

Blended families deserve the same protections and benefits as traditional nuclear families. Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum Attorneys at Law, Inc. has spent decades advocating for the best interests of Rhode Island families of every size. Please send us a message online, or call us at 401-946-3200 to schedule your initial consultation, and prevent probate disputes before they ever arise. 


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.