If you are post divorce and are contemplating remarriage during 2016 there are important planning considerations that must be made.
Hopefully after your divorce you revoked your existing Will and prepared a new Will as a single individual reflecting your current wishes, especially, if you have children. Now that you are remarrying it will be necessary to prepare a new Will. You want to be sure your new Will protects your own children’s inheritance while providing for your new husband or wife.
Much thought has to be given in your Will as to who will manage the portion of your estate for the benefit of your children. It is not a good idea to give your current husband or wife the ability to manage or distribute your assets for the benefit of your children when there is a blended family relationship. By blended family, I mean that you and your new spouse each have your own children from your prior marriage(s).
How can you be sure that your monies will not end up with your new spouse’s children? If your new spouse is not financially independent you may also want to provide for his or her financial well-being.
One solution is to establish a trust in your new Will for the benefit of your children should something happen to you. A professional independent trustee might make the most sense in this situation. As a matter of fact you can make your current spouse a co-trustee. The professional trustee will be sure that the terms of the trust are fulfilled in a totally unbiased manner.
If your children are minors the trust will continue for a timeframe that is established in the will. When the assets are sufficient, we usually suggest that the trust for children terminates at different intervals. For example, 25% at age 25; 50% at age 30 and the balance at age 35. All the while the trust assets are available for the health, maintenance and education of the children.
Lastly, if your spouse is not financially independent, a trust can be established for his or her benefit while the monies are being managed by a professional.
Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year,