For those in second marriages, Estate Planning can pose many different issues. This is because spouses may have to provide for their new spouse, their new spouse’s children, and their own children from the previous marriage. If you are marrying later in life and already have substantial assets, this can make the situation even more difficult and complex. One of the challenges will be to use those assets to ensure that a surviving spouse is financially secure during his or her lifetime, while preserving a sizable sum for the children from your first marriage.
With a second marriage, spouses may need to consider how long the second marriage has lasted and the financial situation of each spouse. In addition, a great deal of thought should go into what the children from the first marriage will receive if their parent is the first spouse from the new marriage to pass away. If there is no prenuptial agreement in the second marriage, it is likely that the surviving spouse will get half of the deceased spouse’s assets, and this may not be what the deceased spouse would have wanted for his or her children from a previous marriage.
While second marriages can present challenges for estate planning, these issues can be resolved if clients are thoughtful and seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney.
A couple of Tips:
- New Spouses should discuss their planning together. Avoiding the discussion will only lead to heartache later.
- Prior to Marriage, discuss a Prenuptial agreement. If you have not done so, their are other options, such as a QTIP Trust that can achieve the desired outcome.
- Be fair and reasonable. Often, children and new spouses do not get along. Remember the everyone of feelings.
- Consider discussing your planning with your children. Depending on the family, doing so can make things that much easier. However, on the flip side, there are some situations where discussing these issues with your children will cause more problems.