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Not the Brady Bunch

F581EF6E-8017-4344-831F-9058490712ADGrowing up, I was a big fan of the Brady Bunch, and truly believed that all families were perfect and that all blended families got along just like the Brady Bunch.

Unfortunately, as I have gotten older and have practiced for several years, I realize that often that is just not the case.

It is imperative when planning in a situation with a blended family to not just go with the “I love you” Wills with everything going to the spouse. Many spouses will later get remarried and not take care of the kids from the first spouse’s relationship.

We traditionally recommend that we use trusts to be able to provide for the spouse after death, but then make sure that those assets come back to the family that they originally started with.

Every family is different and every situation is different, but the old days of just counting on your new spouse to take care of your children are long gone.

Although I like to believe that for the most part people are well-intentioned, unfortunately children of previous relationships don’t always get along with the new spouse.

Because of this, it is also imperative to decide who is going to make the healthcare decisions. Not having a healthcare directive or not being clear in who is going to make the decisions is asking for trouble.

There are very simple steps that every blended family can take to try to make the future less painful and emotional. 

At Bellomo & Associates we always talk about the future and how to plan in the best way, particularly for blended families. If you are in a blended family, take time now to put your wishes in writing to avoid a lot of heartache and pain later, and in doing so, give careful, unemotional thought to the dynamics of your blended family. The first step is to join us for one of our upcoming workshops.  Just click here to find the one that’s best for you!

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jeffrey bellomo

Jeffrey R. Bellomo, Esquire is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation under authorization of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. As the owner of Bellomo & Associates, LLC he advises families about the legal challenges facing them today. He counsels clients and provides solutions on: Asset Protection, Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Trust Design, Guardianships, Medicaid and Estate Planning & Administration. His mission is to provide professional caring service to all his clients.

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