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    Baby Boomer Publishing


The Blended Family
(The Blended Extended Family)

The “Blended Family” Now Includes 60% Of Americans

It is estimated that 60% of the population lives in a blended family. The term “blended family” is a modern term of art. It defines that family where the parents are on their second or third marriage and have both step children and perhaps common children of their own.

The step children may live in the same house, but most likely are adults with a large disparity in age with the new children. They have little in common with these younger children because ten or twenty years have passed since that first or second marriage ended – which means there is a wife # 1, and/or a husband #2, etc. Think of Mike and Carol of the Brady Bunch divorcing and remarrying a third partner.

In the dictionary the word “blended” is defined as “to mix smoothly and inseparably together.” Given that definition and the character of the typical “blended family,” the term should probably be changed to “unblended family.”

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What To Do About The Blended Family Dynamic?

The best way to understand what to do in the blended family situation is to understand what will happen if you do nothing. Remember that all of us have an estate plan whether we like it or not.

The government of California, as with every state, has devised a plan that will distribute your assets upon your death in accordance with the rules found in the Probate Code.

All you have to do for these rules to apply to you is to die without a Will or some other non-probate estate plan. This is called to die “intestate.” This means that the beneficiaries of the estate will be identified by statute and fixed by the court rather than by the deceased mother or father. (See What if You Die Without A Will Or Living Trust?)

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What If You Die Without A Will Or Living Trust? (“Intestate Succession”)

Dying without a Will is not necessarily a bad thing. But as shown above, the California laws governing the distribution of a person’s estate that does not have a Will or Living Trust (called the laws of intestate succession) heavily favor the surviving spouse or child, to the exclusion of a child from a previous marriage.

As you read the chart below to see how intestate succession works, think of an example where there is a bachelor with no children from a previous marriage and whose parents have predeceased him.

Suppose this lonely bachelor left a Will leaving his entire $2 million estate to the California Hemp Society. When the bachelor’s very poor brother and sister find his Will while rummaging through his house after death, what might they be tempted to do with the Will? Now there is a question for Angela Lansbury!

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How You Might Be An Heir To Millions Of Dollars

Although the above scenarios apply to most situations, there is still a way that you could inherit millions of dollars from that rich tycoon you never heard of before:

Suppose the tycoon was married once in his youth, but his wife predeceased him and he died an unmarried man with no children.

Then assume the tycoon’s parents had predeceased him and he had no brothers and sisters. Assume further that his grandparents are also dead and there is no living aunt or uncle or cousins that are descendents of those grandparents.

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An Insider's Guide to Estate Planning



    Why pay money so an attorney can try and explain the difference between a Bypass Trust and a QTIP Trust, when this book will answer that question long before you have to pay for a consultation?

    This guidebook helps you map out your estate plan so it goes exactly where you want it to go. It explains the tools you need to give away or preserve your money, homes, businesses, heirlooms, cars, boats, jewelry, tools, art, memorabilia, and every other artifact of life you have accumulated over the last 45 to 65 baby booming years.

(Proud Father of the Bride)

Mark S. Cornwall, Esq.
210 E. Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101