A big concern in New York estate planning for second marriages is making sure each spouse’s share of the estate ends up with the desired beneficiary. Traditional estate planning distributes an estate to the spouse and then to the children. However, that may not comply with ones wishes.
If the proper estate planning is not done, after the spouse dies, the surviving spouse can adjust the documents to disinherit whomever he or she chooses—including the deceased spouse’s children. There are various types of planning techniques that allow you to leave assets to your current spouse, while still ensuring that your children will inherit assets. Some couples use trusts to accomplish their goals. A family protection trusts in New York can be used to make sure your assets stay in your bloodline, should you choose.
Planning for Blended Families in New York
It is common that a second marriage can bring children into the family from a prior marriage or union. This is often referred to as a blended family. Blended families highlight the need for careful New York estate planning to make sure the needs of each spouse and children are met.
Most parents want to ensure assets will pass to their children and/or grandchildren, and maybe not their stepchildren. However, without careful estate planning, there is no guarantee that your children will inherit your assets. In fact, if a couple creates identical wills such that their assets pass to the surviving spouse, there is a significant likelihood their children will be disinherited. Planning is essential for New York blended families and working with an experienced New York estate planning attorney can ensure your assets get passed to your loved ones.
What to Consider When Estate Planning for a Second Marriage
Planning with wills and trusts that pour into a Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP) is an option that allows the surviving spouse to have the income for their lifetime. The trustee’s discretion to give them the principle of the assets as needed, ultimately allowing the children to inherit the asset when the second spouse passes.
Other options to consider when creating an estate plan after a second marriage in New York are:
- Is your Durable Power-of-Attorney and Health Care Proxy updated?
- Does your ex-spouse have the authority to handle your finances and make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do those things for yourself?
- Did you change the beneficiary of your life insurance, IRA, etc?
- If you signed a pre-nuptial agreement, do you have your copy in a safe place?
Proper New York estate planning can ensure that the loved one(s) of your choosing remain(s) in control of your assets and decision-making should you become unable to carry out your own wishes.
Russo Law Group, P.C. helps you and your loved ones handle Estate Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, Medicaid Planning, Trust & Estate, Guardianship, Small Business Planning, and Real Estate Law. We welcome you to contact our Garden City, Lido Beach, Islandia, or Manhattan, New York law offices to learn more about how we can help address your estate planning legal matters.