With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce in the United States, blended families are increasingly common and present their own sets of challenges to estate planning attorneys. There are so many potential complexities to blended families that estate planners need to be aware of situations where separate representation for the families may be the wiser course of action.
Lancaster, Calif. (PRWEB) July 22, 2009
A growing number of blended families have special estate planning concerns and should address them up-front with their estate planning attorney to decide if one attorney can represent both parties, or if separate attorneys are needed to protect the interests of both sides of the blended family, says Kevin Von Tungeln, a partner with Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln.
"With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce in the United States, blended families are increasingly common and present their own sets of challenges to estate planning attorneys. There are so many potential complexities to blended families that estate planners need to be aware of situations where separate representation for the families may be the wiser course of action."
There are five specific situations that may indicate that call for separate attorneys: 1) an imbalance in the number of children on each side, particularly if one is childless; 2) the existence of a pre-nuptial agreement; 3) the number of previous marriages for each - a larger number may indicate a need for separate counsel; 4) the length of the relationship - a shorter time period suggests the need for additional counsel; and 5) an imbalance in economic power, especially where one is dependent on the other.
"Blended families require estate planners to ask some tough questions," said Von Tungeln. "He or she may delve into obligations to former partners such as alimony and child support, how to handle power of attorney in the event of incapacitation, and transfer of personal property such as family heirlooms to children. It also may preclude the use of traditional estate planning vehicles such as revocable trusts, which are easily amended. If you are a blended family looking for an estate plan or trust, be sure to seek the assistance of a highly qualified estate planning lawyer such as a certified estate planning specialist."
About Kevin Von Tungeln
With more than 17 years' legal experience, Kevin L. Von Tungeln serves Thompson Von Tungeln in the areas of complex estate planning, probate, trusts, wills, trust administration, conservatorships, guardianships and elder law. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialists as a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning. Get to know more about Kevin's approach to estate planning by viewing his informational videos at: (http://www.youtube.com/user/EstateLawyers). Kevin can also be found at LinkedIn by going to: (http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinvontungeln)
About Thompson Von Tungeln
Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson Von Tungeln (TVT) offers sophisticated estate planning and administration for the affluent, discriminating client. As the only Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in Lancaster, Palmdale and Antelope Valley, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve these clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand. For more information, contact TVT at 661-945-5868 or visit their website at EstatePlanningSpecialists.com.