We all know how Cinderella ends – she winds up with the handsome prince and they live happily ever after. But how did Cinderella end up in dire straits to begin with? The simple answer is failed estate planning on her parents’ part.
As you may recall, Cinderella lost her mother when she was very young. As often happens, her father remarried. Her new step-mother already had two daughters about the same age as Cinderella. Cinderella’s new step-sisters were very jealous of her because of her beauty. Not surprisingly, Cinderella’s new step-mother wasn’t too fond of her either. Cinderella’s father then dies, leaving her in the care of the evil step-mother—hence her role as maid and servant girl to her two step-sisters throughout the fairytale. Lucky for Cinderella, her fairy godmother rescues her and she eventually lives happily ever after.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way in real life. Blended families can create significant estate planning challenges; however, a blended family also makes proper estate planning even more crucial. We would all like to think that the people we love will care for our children if we die; however, there is no guarantee of this. To protect your children if you re-marry, you must create an estate plan that does just that. Be sure that you provide for them financially and that you name a guardian who you trust to care for them just as you would to ensure that your children do not become another Cinderella.