Over the course of my career, I have received many calls from blended families who encounter issues after the death of a loved one. For example, following the death of her father, Mary remained close to her step-mother. Mary’s step-mother eventually left the area to be closer to her biological grandchild. Following Mary’s step-mother’s death, Mary discovered that her step-mother had changed the terms of her father and step-mother’s joint trust and disinherited Mary, leaving everything to her biological grandchild. Everything Mary’s step-mother did was completely above board, she and Mary’s father had signed a joint trust and as the survivor she had the power to amend and modify the trust after her husband died.
When I meet with second-marriage couples, I like to bring up the following considerations: