There are important estate planning strategies to consider if you’re entering into a second marriage and have children from a first marriage. Gunster private wealth services attorney Elaine Bucher discusses four critical considerations.
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Estate planning considerations for blended families
If you’re entering into a second marriage and you have children from a first marriage, there are some very important considerations.
First, pre- and post-nuptial agreements are critical.
Each is most likely entering into the marriage with separate assets, and the pre- and post-nuptial agrement will define the obligations of each party.
Second, be cognizant of bequests of tangible personal property because that’s where most of the fighting occurs.
Make sure that you leave a specific list of assets to your surviving spouse and to your children.
If you’re leaving your home to your spouse, and tangible personal property customarily associated with the home to your children, make sure that tangible personal property is not immediately distributed to the kids. Otherwise, you’re leaving your spouse in an empty home.
Third, consider setting up a unitrust for your surviving spouse.
A unitrust is a trust that provides that the surviving spouse gets a certain percentage each year. That way, your spouse and your children from the first marriage are both interested in having the trust invested for growth.
Fourth, make sure to update your retirement and insurance beneficiary designations so that they’re consistent with your estate plan.