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The Importance of Estate Planning for Blended Families

Estate planning is a critical aspect of securing your assets and ensuring the well-being of your loved ones after you’re gone. For blended families in California, estate planning takes on even greater significance due to the unique challenges they face. With complex family dynamics and legal considerations, it becomes essential for blended families to create a comprehensive estate plan that addresses their specific needs. In this month’s blog, we will explore the importance of estate planning for blended families in California.

information about estate planning

The Unique Challenges of Blended Families

Blended families, consisting of remarried or re-partnered individuals with children from previous relationships, have intricate family structures that require careful estate planning. In California, without a proper estate plan, the laws of intestate succession will govern the distribution of assets, which may not align with the wishes of the blended family. Estate planning allows blended families to designate beneficiaries, provide for their stepchildren, and ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes, avoiding potential conflicts and legal complications.

Related: Learn more about how to set up a trust fund here.

Protecting the Interests of Stepchildren

One crucial aspect of estate planning for blended families is ensuring the financial security of stepchildren. Without a proper plan in place, stepchildren may be unintentionally disinherited, as the law does not recognize stepchildren as legal heirs. By including stepchildren as beneficiaries in your estate plan, you can protect their interests and provide for their future, ensuring they are not left vulnerable to financial instability.

Addressing Potential Family Conflicts

Blended families often carry a higher risk of family conflicts arising during the estate administration process. Disputes between biological children, stepchildren, and surviving spouses can lead to prolonged legal battles and strained relationships. Through estate planning, you can clearly outline your wishes, establish trusts, and designate responsible trustees who can ensure a fair distribution of assets. By proactively addressing potential conflicts, you can minimize the chances of disputes and foster harmony within your blended family.

Rely on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates!

If you or someone you know wants to create an estate plan in California, call the local pros of Orange County, Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, for help. We will help you navigate the complexities of estate planning and ensure the protection of your loved ones. Visit our website at or call us at (949) 951-9529 to schedule a consultation.

Protecting Your Business in a Divorce: Legal Strategies for Business Owners

Divorce is a challenging and emotional process for anyone, but it can become even more complex when you’re a business owner. Your business is not just a source of income; it’s your livelihood, your passion, and your investment. So, how can you protect your business during a divorce? In this month’s blog, we will explore some important legal strategies that business owners can implement to protect their businesses during a divorce.

Understanding Community Property Laws

In many states, including California, marital property is divided equally between both spouses during a divorce. This means that if you started your business during your marriage, it could be considered community property and subject to division. To protect your business, it’s crucial to establish that it is separate property. This can be done by providing evidence that the business was started before marriage or by having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that clearly outlines the business as separate property.

Related: Learn more about the division of assets and debt in a divorce here.

Valuation and Buyout Options

When dividing assets in a divorce, the value of the business needs to be determined. This requires a thorough valuation process, which may involve assessing the business’s financial statements, assets, and future earning potential. Once the value is determined, there are several options for dividing the business. One option is for one spouse to buy out the other’s interest in the business. This can be done through negotiation or by using other assets to offset the value of the business. It is essential to consult with your business lawyer or with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your business interests are protected.

Related: Learn more about the things to consider before hiring a lawyer for your business here.


In conclusion, protecting your business during a divorce requires careful planning and proactive measures. At Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, we understand the unique challenges that business owners face during a divorce. We provide personalized legal strategies to protect your business and guide you through the divorce process. Contact us at (949) 951-9529 or visit our website at to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you safeguard your business assets.

Can a Child Choose Custody?

Many parents who have undergone a divorce have listened to their children expressing their desire to reside with the non-custodial parent. Though this is usually said in the heat of the moment, one question that frequently arises in such cases is: can a child have a say in deciding custody arrangements, and if yes, when? In this month’s blog, we talk about when a child can choose custody, exploring the relevant legal frameworks and shedding light on the associated intricacies.

Who Decides Child Custody?

Parents are used to making decisions regarding what is best for their children. However, if an agreement on child custody cannot be reached by the parents prior to appearing in court or during mediation, the ultimate determination of child custody is entirely at the discretion of the judge handling their case. Therefore, the judge will decide who won the custody battle.

Related: learn more about tips that help you to win a custody battle here.

When Can a Child Have a Say?

According to Family Code 3042, the judge does not view it as harmful for a child that passes 14 to express their custody preference. But this doesn’t mean that the child’s custodial preferences decide where they live and with whom. It’s important to understand that the judge doesn’t have to follow the child’s preference as they make the decision based on what’s in the best interest of the child.  

What if You Disagree with Your Child’s Preference?

You want what’s best for your child, but hearing that your child prefers to live with the other parent can be a heartbreaking moment. At the end of the day, custody is granted based on what the judge decides, but as your child age, circumstances may mean that these arrangements need to be altered. 

Get The Best California Family Law Representation!

If you’re a parent going through a divorce and you have a custody battle to win, call on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. We have extensive experience in family law, and we’ll help you obtain the best possible custody outcome for your case. Call Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates now at (949) 951-9529 to discuss your case.

Divorce & Reconciliation: Here’s What You Need to Know

When couples legally agree on dissolving a marriage, a divorce takes place. However, it can also include parental challenges and a set of monetary, emotional, and legal issues. But the good news is that there are numerous legal ways to cope with such challenges. Reconciliation is also workable in most cases.

What Causes a Couple to Divorce?

When both individuals aren’t able to meet expectations, they part ways and no longer wish to be with each other. Divorce is the last resort for many couples. Often, couples choose to be separated for some time, or they plan to make it permanent by opting for a legal way out of the marriage.

Related: “Three Disputes Your Family Law Attorney Can Help With”

The 10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce

Here are some of the main reasons why couples consider divorce:

  1. Infidelity or an extramarital affair
  2. Trouble with finances
  3. Lack of communication
  4. Constant arguing
  5. Long distance relationship
  6. Unrealistic expectations
  7. Lack of intimacy
  8. Lack of equality
  9. Not being prepared for marriage
  10. Physical and emotional abuse

How Can a Couple Avoid Divorce?

You must never stay in a relationship that causes physical or emotional abuse and should get in touch with your local authorities and lawyer. However, if you’re in a relationship that can still be repaired, there are various possible ways to avoid legal dissolution and let a marriage survive. This includes consulting with a therapist or taking an online Save My Marriage course.

In today’s era, where divorce is “easier”, saving a marriage can take a lot of effort for both parties. In addition, if you are separated but still want to get back together after some time, chances are that it can happen with the right work and effort put into it by both sides.

Related: “Legal Separation vs. Divorce”

How Can Couples Reconcile After Divorce?

If you are planning to reconcile after divorce, here are some different possibilities that you can consider:

  1. Try to keep an open mind as you learn how to rekindle romance with your partner.
  2. Focus more on relearning how to live together with them in light of the changed situation.
  3. Improve your communication with each other and be transparent with your feelings.
  4. Be willing to accept the past and move forward.
  5. Try martial therapy with your partner.


To sum up, if you’re deciding whether to move forward or plan to get back together, it’s better to seek help from a professional divorce lawyer as soon as possible. With decades of professional experience, Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates is the best option. Contact our law firm today at (949) 951-9529 or visit our website for more information.

How to Set Up a Trust Fund?

Trust funds are an excellent way of providing a secure legacy to the next of kin and generations. When you set up a trust fund, you make a legal access way to transfer your wealth, properties, and assets to the person of your choice. It is basically a tool to outline an actionable plan on how finances will be distributed and managed after you pass. Keep on reading to learn how to set up a trust fund.

  • Define your goals for the trust.

It is imperative to understand why you are establishing a trust fund. With clarity of goals in mind, you will have a clear picture of what and how many assets you will be putting in the trust to provide financial security for your loved ones.

For example, you want to leave the house to your son and the gold jewelry to your daughter. You can also direct your fund to be used for specific reasons, like a college fund for your kids or a limited allowance from the fund.

  • Choose the type of trust you wish to establish.

There are different types of trusts that you can choose depending on your goals and requirements. Most trusts can be classified into one of two categories: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.

Revocable living trusts (RLTs) are the most common type of trust. They’re flexible and allow you (as the grantor) to make changes at any time, like adding or removing beneficiaries or changing the trust’s provisions.

Irrevocable trusts are more rigid. Once an irrevocable trust is created, it’s not simple to make changes, and the trust can’t easily be undone or canceled.

  • Select the terms of the trust.

Now that you have decided on the goals and the type of trust you want, it is time to establish the terms of the trust. Deciding the terms includes the following factors:

– Determining a trustee: A trustee will manage the trust and oversee the distribution of assets to your beneficiaries. Therefore, it’s essential to pick someone you trust who’s willing and able to serve.

– Deciding the distribution of assets: If your trust fund has multiple beneficiaries, dictate the terms of distribution so everyone receives a fair share according to your terms. You should clearly outline these distribution instructions in your trust documents.

– Setting conditions: Setting up provisions will ensure that the financial means reach the beneficiaries when you believe the time is right for them. For example, your son will have her share of trust when she finishes college. That is called setting conditions for distribution.

  • Legalize with the documents.

You’ll need to make your trust legally binding. This means completing your trust documents and executing them according to the laws in your state. In most states, this involves signing your trust document in the presence of two witnesses, who should also sign.

Make the trust legally binding with proper documentation, and get your trust notarized and registered with your county.

  • Fund your trust with assets.

Funding your trust with assets is an important step. Your trust can’t function as intended until you fill it with assets. Depending on the trust type, these assets may include real estate property, bank accounts, life insurance policies, non-cash assets (like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds), digital assets (including cryptocurrency), and any personal items that are valuable or important to you.

Transferring assets into a trust can take time and effort, but it’s necessary. You should start by contacting the institutions that manage your assets.


A trust fund provides more control, privacy, and specificity. It can help you minimize estate taxes and avoid probate, saving your beneficiaries time, money, and piles of paperwork. At Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, we are ready to do the legwork and are committed to singularly working for you. Find more about our services here or call us at (949) 951-9529.

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