Yours, Mine, And Ours – Estate Planning In A Second Marriage
When a couple makes out their wills, the assets are typically left to the surviving spouse and/or the children. If a couple divorces and the people remarry, the line begins to get a little fuzzier. Is it fair to just give everyone an equal slice of the pie? What about the surviving spouse of the current marriage? How do you take care of the children from the current relationship without slighting the children of the relationship that ended? What else is there to take into account?
You will want to consider all possible scenarios. Yes, this can be an uncomfortable conversation. No one wants to talk about the death of a loved one. But the alternative may create family strife that can last for years. Write up the way you would want the assets divided if you go first. Would you want to set something aside for your children from the previous marriage? Would it make more sense to leave it all to your spouse and have all children included in his/her will? What if you are the surviving spouse?
It may be wise for you and your spouse to write up your wishes individually and come together afterwards. This may help to remain objective if trepidations arise. Due to the nature of the conversation, there is bound to be some emotional tension. Be patient and try to understand your spouse's fears and look for a solution that you both can agree on. It is also a good idea to speak to an attorney. They may have options you haven't even thought of.