Blended Family Trust: How to See If It Is the Right Fit for Your Family?

by Sudarsan

San Diego’s homeownership is around 46%. A blended family can take on many different forms. Some children have one parent who remarries, and their new spouse has a child from a previous relationship. Other parents are part of a more prominent “family” where half-brothers and sisters come together for important milestones such as graduations and weddings. 

All blended families are different, but they all have one thing in common: everyone’s goal should be to protect each other and keep the family cohesive.

A Trust Attorney San Diego can help do just that by defining step-parent rights, ensuring support for adult children, and protecting each other’s inheritance. Here are a few trust-related things that you should know about blended family trusts:

1. The Trust Document Sets Rules for All of Your Commingling Assets

All assets that are combined in the name of the trust are subject to the document. This includes bank accounts, brokerage accounts, real estate, and even business assets. 

If one of your family members requires assistance, the trustee in charge can help them access these assets following the trust document to get what they need.

2. The Trustee has the Power to Make Certain Decisions

There are over 513,000 households in San Diego. Being a trustee is not an easy job. They must make tough decisions and follow through on them. How will they decide what’s best for each family member? 

That’s up to them, but they must use their best judgment and do what they feel is best for the trust, not themselves. If you choose to be your trustee, it is still your responsibility to make decisions in the trust’s best interest.

3. The Trustee has the Authority to Remove Assets

If you don’t trust your children, then you may want to consider including a provision that allows the trustee to remove assets from any account held in trust. 

The clause should be particular about what resources can and cannot be liquidated, so there is no confusion down the line.

4. The Trustee has the Authority to Suspend or Terminate Benefits

There are certain instances where you may not provide for your children because of legal responsibility. There should be a legal provision in place that allows the trustee to suspend or terminate benefits if they believe it is in everyone’s best interest. 

Without this clause, the trustee won’t act if necessary. The result could be that your child misses out on something they deserve.

5. There Cannot Be a Conflict of Interest

If you plan to name someone as your trustee who is interested in your assets, you must remove them from the position. This rule also applies to anyone who has any stake in the outcome of the trust. Essentially, you cannot place your interests above your family.

6. You Need a Trust Attorney

Don’t try to create a blended family trust on your own. It’s not something you can figure out in the back of a book as you go along. 

You need someone with experience and expertise who knows all of the ins and outs of these types of trusts, and this is why you must use aTrust Attorney in San Diego.

Wrapping Up

Failing to do proper estate planning could result in a document that doesn’t meet your needs and puts your assets at risk for the future.

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