THE PROBLEM Couples with children by prior marriages are the families that truly need comprehensive estate planning! There is nothing more delicate than two sets of children of previous marriages (who don’t necessarily know each other that well) trying to divide the assets of their respective mother and father. Further, a surviving spouse in a second marriage should have a comprehensive plan in order to insure that he or she remains on good terms with the family of the deceased spouse.
SOLUTIONS: There are several solutions available that both protect the financial security of the surviving spouse and at the same time insure that the children of both spouses receive a fair share of each other’s estates. These solutions include (but are not limited to) the following:
Real Estate Trusts that provide for the right of the surviving spouse to use of the family residence
Limited Powers of Attorney clearly defining the authority of the husband or wife in the event of disability of the other spouse
Trust providing for income to the surviving spouse, but returning the assets to your respective children upon the death of both spouses