A blended family is a challenge. Poor planning makes for real problems.
The Sagers are a blended family with serious issues. They are living a nightmare that could have been avoided with better planning.
In 1980, sports reporter Craig Sager married Lisa Gable. They had three children: Craig Jr., Casey, Kristin. After two decades they split up, and Craig married Stacy Strebel and. Stacy was only a little older than Craig’s children from the prior marriage.
From nearly the beginning, there was friction between Craig’s children from the first marriage and Stacy. Craig later developed leukaemia. Craig Jr. helped his father live longer through two very painful bone-marrow transplants. The hostility in the family was such that Stacy publicly opined that he did the bone marrow donations merely for publicity.
Craig died in December of 2016 leaving a will which disinherited the three children from his prior marriage. Even though the children are not seeking to contest the will, Stacy is suing them just to make sure.
Okay, so, God help you if you have these kinds of problems in your blended family. Unfortunately, this is actually a lot more common than people might think. Even in the closest of blended families, there are going to be issues and complications, but this case turns them up to eleven.
It’s always best to communicate your plans with your family and minimize surprises. I know that can be a difficult conversation. But, if you want things to go as smoothly for your family when you are gone as possible, it’s one you should have.
Here is a bigger point, though: the Craig Sager had a will but not a trust of any kind. Wills are subject to probate proceedings and are open to the public! When you have a will, the will is public record. What happens to the property and who gets what is public record.
If Craig wanted to disinherit his children from the first marriage, he could have left a will which left everything to his trust. Then, in the trust, Craig could have disinherited the children from his first marriage privately. If he had proceeded in that manner, the tabloids may have never have known of the disinheritance. The flames and the family discord would not have been fanned by the tabloids.
If you have a blended family, you’re probably going to want a trust to deal with some of the complexities that come with them. And if you want to maintain privacy, a trust is definitely the way to go.
Don’t be like the Sagers. Come talk to me. Let me set up a trust for your blended family and hopefully avoid the kind of problems that they had.