Insecurities, confusion and frustration may surface as you begin your estate planning. You and your spouse may disagree on investments, bequests, and guardianship, just to name a few. If this is a second marriage for either partner, insecurities from past experience with finances, partnerships and children from previous relationships increase the probability of disagreements.
The first thing to remember when planning your estate is that in your Will, you have complete autonomy in picking your heirs, and the way in which your estate will be divided. Even in later years, if you bequeath something to your spouse and add a clause that passes the property to a child in the event of your spouse’s later death, your spouse cannot change that bequest in their Will. The property will pass as you set out in your Will.
The second thing to consider is that your spouse has the same power with their property. With children from previous marriages and your current relationship to consider, equal bequests to each child may be difficult, especially when personal property is involved. Sometimes the best solution is to pick one tangible property item for a child to inherit with all the rest of the estate assets ordered sold and the proceeds of the sale distributed equally to the heirs, or held in trust.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement over a piece of property, why not consider a matching cash bequest? Very frequently your heirs do not value property the same way you do, and may decide to sell the property after you pass away. Consider asking the heirs which they prefer. You may be surprised to learn that no one wants the property that you and your spouse value so highly.
We can help you sort out your estate plans and help you make comfortable decisions for distribution of your property. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.