Families are ever changing: Newly married dreaming of your promising future together; your first child, a new career, a first home. The years focused on raising children, dentist appointments and sports. Your children’s SATs, college tuition and becoming empty nesters. Insurance policies, 401K contributions and your first mailing from AARP. Yes, life does change and along with those changes, your family’s planning needs move as well.
As a part of your preparation for your first visit to Wilson Law Group, you will receive a comprehensive questionnaire that introduces your family to your estate planning attorney. This questionnaire is designed to meet the needs of a very wide range of situations. You will focus only on the areas important to you and your family.
Re-Marriage offers its own special planning considerations. Planning for children, even grandchildren in blended marriages can offer a level of complexity that demands practical advice, tempered by sensitivity.
Perhaps you want to address your children’s guardians in the event of your untimely death, or lay out your retirement plan for upcoming years, or figure out how to maintain control during your lifetime while giving what you have to whom you want, when you want and at the lowest possible tax cost possible. All are incentives to designing a plan that meets your current needs.
If unmarried couples fail to properly plan, the result can be devastating to either partner or their family. Having no estate plan, or relying upon a Will, Joint Tenancy, or Tenancy in Common as an estate plan, is tantamount to giving up control of one's estate and management of one's well-being in times of incapacitation.
This need for an estate plan is critical in case of an accident or illness that renders one partner incapable of making decisions or managing his or her affairs. Without a proper estate plan, the other partner could be legally precluded from having any role in the decision-making of their loved one’s care, managing his or her affairs, or even having access to the incapacitated partner.
Our law firm strongly believes that a wisely drafted, carefully executed estate plan is the critical component of an individual or an unmarried couple's wealth management. Our firm's guiding principle is to provide families, married or not, with quality estate planning services tailored to each client's specific needs and goals. We offer free, no obligation consultations for any family who has experienced the loss of a loved one.
Second Marriage Planning
As we have seen the rate of divorce reach almost sixty percent (60%) in our society, more and more individuals have come out of first marriages and may be entering into subsequent marriages. Resulting “Brady Bunch” situations are very common, where each spouse has children from a first marriage. The primary issue that must be appropriately addressed is how to take care of your current spouse, while also ensuring that some of your assets can eventually make it to your children from a prior marriage.
If proactive planning is not accomplished, it is not uncommon to have step-parents and step-children fighting it out upon the death of a spouse. This can be a very sad and emotional result that breaks families apart.
With a proper and well-thought out estate plan, your goals of leaving assets both to your current spouse and children from a prior marriage can be accomplished. A very common technique that our firm uses to assist in the follow-through of such planning is to have “family meetings,” where the parents present their overall planning to their respective children. Such a meeting will give the children an understanding as to what both spouses want to accomplish and how the planning will eventually be implemented when one spouse becomes disabled or passes away.
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