Part 1: Goals and Concerns
Have you entered a second or third marriage? Does your new spouse or partner bring with him or her children and/or property? Estate planning involving a second marriage or partnership usually means that there is more to deal with; more children, more property and usually, more issues. Our goal at East Bay Probate and Trust Administration is to provide you and your spouse or partner with a framework to understand how your goals fit into an estate plan while keeping in mind your concerns about what you wish to avoid. In blended families, each spouse may have different goals. Your feelings about your spouse, your children and your step children may vary deeply from that of your spouse. Our experience working with blended families can help you sort through those competing (and sometime divergent) goals to bring your estate plan together. How you will provide for your spouse, how you will provide for children born from the both of you and, how you will provide for children from previous relationships. These are crucial challenges that we can help you navigate.
What are some of your goals?
- Making sure your current spouse or partner is provided for upon your disability or death
- Providing for a college education for your children or your spouse’s children
- Providing for grandchildren of yours or your spouse
- Making sure the family business stays in the family
- Avoid giving your children their inheritance all at once, in one lump sum, and instead create an estate plan that you feel is fair while encouraging your children to continue with their education and occupational endeavors
- You have a child with special needs and you want to make sure that any money you provide to that child will not be siphoned off by government agencies who provide care and services to that special needs child
- Providing gifts to your special friends or charities that you wish to support
- Taking care of younger children if both you and your spouse or partner should die unexpectedly
What are some of your concerns?
- Making sure that your estate doesn’t land in the hands of someone who you do not want to have inherit your property
- Protecting your children from losing their inheritance if the surviving spouse remarries after your death
- Having your assets wind up in someone else’s hands if your spouse should remarry
- Your partner has difficulty dealing with financial matters and gets emotionally distracted which leads to bad financial judgement
- Your blended family, upon your death, will end up having serious disputes among themselves
- Do you have enough money to support your wife or partner and is there enough money to give to the children or step-children
- Your business will fail to function properly once you are no longer able to run and manage it
- The drain on your Estate assets should you need long term care and you want to avoid having Medi-Cal seeking reimbursement from your house or business to pay for those costs
(To be continued)