• Alison Kaigan

Dad’s getting re-married and there goes the inheritance

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

This is a particularly interesting scenario from a financial perspective, and not uncommon given the prevalence of ‘blended families’ (otherwise known as ‘families’!). Where you have two adults getting re-married, each with adult children, there can potentially be a lot of concern about what might happen to the children’s inheritance down the track. Especially if there is a large discrepancy between existing wealth on each side of the new couple. Potentially, that concern might be so high that it could affect the new marriage, or prevent the new in-laws from building positive, trusting relationships. After all, if an adult child assumed they would one day inherit enough to repay the mortgage, and then suddenly they think they might not get anything, you can imagine they might not feel positive about the situation.

Fortunately, with some proactive planning and a trusted financial adviser and lawyer, this situation can potentially be very effectively managed for all parties involved. Sometimes it starts with a ‘round table discussion’ to hear everyone’s concerns, so that questions can be answered and an effective solution can be investigated and found. Often, an effective solution can be identified, put into place, communicated to all parties, and everyone’s mind can be put to ease. This might include detailing plans for inheritances down the track and how it might work for each party.

How does that compare to years of mistrust, concern, jealousy and in-fighting? I’d say that family Christmases and other important family gatherings would be a whole lot more enjoyable! It could potentially mean the new family gets off on the right foot. It could mean that the foundations have been laid for a long-term positive and trusting family dynamic. That’s a world away from a possible situation where there is permanent mistrust, caution and even resentment at ‘lost’ inheritances simmering away underneath.

So if you or your family member is going through such a situation, perhaps consider suggesting a family round-table discussion with a financial adviser. While you can’t buy trusting family relationships, this potentially comes pretty close!

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