Estate planning is important for everyone, and once you recognize this and put an initial plan in place you must remember something else. The job was not completed on the day that you walked out of your Mount Clemens trust lawyer’s office with your estate plan in hand. If you are like most people you’re going to undergo significant life changes over the years. Many of these changes are going to impact your estate plan, and it is a good idea to recognize the connection and immediately take action when necessary.
One thing that happens to a lot of people that impacts their planning efforts is divorce and subsequent remarriage. If you have children from a previous marriage and you get married again you are probably going to want to take steps to make sure that your children are provided for come what may. We will look at this matter in the next section.
Though no one wants to think this way on their wedding day, there’s no guarantee that this marriage is going to last either. For this reason you may want to start by executing a prenuptial agreement that delineates the personal property of each person entering into the union. Some people may say that this is a “romance killer,” but others would counter by saying that it is nothing of the sort; it is just a matter of common sense and fair play.
Everyone is aware of prenuptial agreements, but there is such a thing as a post-nuptial agreement as well, and they can be useful in estate planning. A married couple may not agree about how to divide shared assets after they pass away, or one may want to give gifts while he or she is still alive while the other does not. This can be a source of strain on the marriage. It is possible to execute a post-marital agreement that divides previously shared property and then each individual could proceed independently.
Provide for Everyone You Love
Let’s say that you get divorced when you are 45 and you decide that you would like to get remarried when you are 50. You have been able to accumulate a significant store of wealth, and you have children from your first marriage.
You love your spouse-to-be, but you recognize the fact that you could die first. If you simply allow your resources to become community assets and you do in fact predecease your spouse you have no guarantees regarding what he or she will do.
Your children could be left out of his or her estate plan, and this is a valid consideration.
When it comes to your own financial well-being, it should be mentioned that the majority of second marriages do not last, and third marriages fail even more frequently.
One possible course of action would be to enter into a prenuptial agreement. With this agreement you retain personal ownership of some or all of your financial resources.
When you are planning your estate you could include a qualified terminable interest (QTIP) property trust. This type of trust allows your surviving spouse to draw income for the rest of his or her life if you do die first. In most cases, the spouse would not have access to the principal, but that detail is ultimately up to you.
At the end of the trust term, the secondary beneficiaries assume ownership of the resources, and since the objective would be to protect the interests of your children they would be your beneficiaries.
Your surviving spouse is taken care of for life, but he or she cannot change your choice of beneficiaries.
Download Our Free Estate Planning Worksheet
Our Mount Clemens trust lawyers have invested a lot of time and effort into the creation of a very useful estate planning worksheet. We are offering a free of charge, and you can learn a lot if you download your copy. Click this link and follow the simple instructions to obtain access to the worksheet.
Schedule a Consultation!
If you would like to sit down and discuss your legacy with one of our Mount Clemens trust lawyers, Our doors are wide open. You can send us a message through our contact page to request an appointment, and you also have the option of getting us a call at 586-493-7661.