In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses understandable concerns surrounding estate planning for second marriage couples and what the best approach is.
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Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
It’s a more, and more common thing that people are in second marriages. Either after they’ve been widowed or their previous marriage has ended in divorce. Under circumstances in which each spouse has children, but they are their own children, they’re not children together. That requires some special attention in estate planning because if you have a typical husband and wife, married couple wills where each leaves everything to the other, what that’s essentially going to mean is if you are the spouse who dies first, you have no assurance whatsoever that your children are going to inherit anything from you.
So when I ask people about that, they’re not really conformable about that, and they wonder “well, should I leave part of it to my spouse, and part of it to my children and, if so, what part is my spouse and what part is my children?” There’s actually a better approach through trust planning, and that is that you can leave your estate for the lifetime benefit of your spouse and you can make up, is it to be your spouse’s primary source of support, is it to be secondary, part their money, and part what you’ve left. But under circumstances in which the second spouse has died, in each case what’s left from each spouse’s estate is going to pass down to their own children.
So, if you are in a second marriage situation, and each of you have children, you really need to get somebody who is familiar with the type of planning that you need done. We certainly can help and we’d be happy to do that. Thanks!