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Protecting Your Legacy

Blended families, unequal distribution may cause probate issues

| Feb 14, 2019 | Probate & Estate Administration |

Many Texas families have complex elements to them. Some parents may be married while others never tied the knot or opted to divorce. Some families may have biological children and grandchildren, and others may be blended together after previous relationships ended. Families are families no matter what they look like, and it is important that people consider their families and the complexities they may face during probate.

When families are blended, it is important not to make assumptions regarding what the children may inherit from their other parents. If a parent leaves less of his or her estate to children from a previous marriage than the children from the current marriage, a serious dispute could arise. Even if the parent thinks he or she is being fair because the children will receive an inheritance from their other parent, that may not be the case.

Still, some parents or other loved ones may feel the need to leave unequal inheritances. If this is the case, it may be wise for parties to explain why the distributions were made in such a manner. This information may help lessen the likelihood of disputes, but it may not guarantee that they will not arise.

Many people think they can set it and forget it when it comes to creating their estate plans. However, if they do not fully consider the ramifications of their choices or fail to update plans later, surviving family members could face a number of complications during probate that could lead to conflict. If Texas residents find themselves having difficulties settling their loved ones’ estates, they may want to gain information on their options from local legal resources.