Let’s say that you are on your second marriage. Both you and your new spouse have adult children from a previous marriage.
What happens when the husband become incapacitated? Who is in charge of the husband’s assets? His trusted children from the previous marriage? The new spouse? What if the husband came into the marriage with little or no assets? What if the husband came into the marriage with millions in assets?
Should the new wife control the husband’s children’s inheritance? Is the new wife going to spend all of the husband’s money before he dies leaving his children with nothing? Should the husband’s children control the assets of the husband on behalf of the new spouse? Does the new spouse have to go to the husband’s children for grocery money?
Should the new spouse or the husband’s children get the Power of Attorney? Should it be shared between the new spouse and children? Should different assets have a different person in control? Can the new spouse sell the family farm? Can the husband’s children kick the new spouse out of dad’s home?
What happens when the husband dies? Who gets all the assets? Does it go to the new spouse? When the new spouse dies will all the assets go to her children and the husband’s children be cut out? What if everything is left to the husband’s children? How is the new spouse going to live? Does the new spouse have any rights by law to the husband’s assets?
How was everything owned? Both spouses names? Only in husband’s name? Only in wife’s name? Does either spouse have a will? Do some accounts have Payable on Death designations? Were any of the children’s names on the accounts or real estate as owner?
These are just some of the various issues that come with multiple marriages and blended families? One way to handle these issues and spot other issues is to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney. After listening to the concerns and issues the spouses and children have, a good estate planning attorney should be able to structure an estate plan that addresses everyone’s concerns.
One thing is for sure, doing nothing will generate the most problems for both the parents and the children.
Estate Planners of Arkansas, P.A. has prepared over 4,000 Estate Plans. Call 1-501-414-8965 for your FREE initial consultation today.