Kaiser Law Group has a sub-specialty in working with blended families. Our clients in second marriages who bring children from previous relationships are seeking to strike a delicate balance between taking care of their spouse and making sure that their children are protected. Accomplishing this balance requires a great deal of trust, open communication and flexibility. I’ve found that couples who are more willing to share their true feelings and fears tend to create plans that are more achievable in the long run – even if the initial discussions can be emotionally difficult.

This Wall Street Journal article focuses on two of the most common tools for achieving a successful plan for blended families: prenuptial agreements and trusts. As a certified specialist in estate planning, I work closely with family law attorneys who prepare prenuptial agreements, but I leave the drafting of those agreements to the family law attorneys. I’ve found that many couples are hesitant to discuss prenuptial agreements because of the negative connotations (e.g. “why are we planning for something like divorce.”). Living trusts can provide structure to help with these issues, but “prenups” + trusts are often the most effective combination.