Estate Planning Mistake Nine: In Second Marriages, Failing to Protect Your Spouse and Your Kids

Estate Planning Mistake #9
In Second Marriages, Failing to Protect Your Spouse and Your Kids

It is very common these days for individuals to divorce and remarry. As a result, you may have a blended family consisting of your biological children from your previous marriage, step-children, and maybe even biological children from your new marriage.

You will want to address your unique family situation in your estate plan so that you can protect your spouse and your children. If you do not put measures in place to provide for your spouse and children, certain negative scenarios can come to pass after you are gone.

For instance, you may leave all of your money to your new spouse, assuming they will provide for your children from your first marriage. What happens if your new spouse does not have a strong relationship with your children and prefers to bequeath all of your shared assets to his or her own children instead?

If your spouse is much younger than you and enjoys the high life, he or she could spend through all of your assets, leaving your children with nothing after he or she passes away.

In yet another common scenario, your spouse may choose to remarry after you are gone. This means that your assets may now be shared with the new spouse’s children. Even worse, the new spouse could be a gold digger, using up all of your savings so that your children have nothing left!

In part nine of my series, 12 Common Estate Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, I review some of these scenarios and discuss QTIP trusts, which can help you provide for your spouse and your children once you are gone.

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