As an estate planning attorney I speak with Tennessee families every day regarding a wide variety of their concerns when it comes to estate planning. These concerns range from taxes, to keeping the government out of their private affairs, to avoiding probate, to protecting their children’s inheritance from divorce, to planning for a special needs child.
However, something that Tennessee families fail to rarely think about is advanced planning when there is a second marriage or remarriage involved.
If you are in a second marriage and have children from a first marriage, you have special planning considerations. Let me tell you the story of John and Jane Doe. John and Jane were married approximately 8 years ago. It was a second marriage for both John and Jane. John had three children from a prior marriage and Jane had two children from a prior marriage. Unfortunately, John and Jane did not consider what their estate planning would do to their children.
John and Jane both wrote Wills leaving their entire estate to each other. As it turned out, John died first, leaving his entire estate to Jane. A few years after John’s death, Jane died, and left her entire estate to her two children from a prior marriage. However, what about John’s three children? Unfortunately, John’s three children received nothing. They were essentially written out of John’s estate when John left everything to his second wife, Jane.
The above story happens all too frequently. A few years after the death of a spouse, a person will get remarried, and due to simply not knowing any better, writes his or her own children out of their estate. Something I am sure that the person never would have wanted.
Therefore, for Tennessee families in a second marriage situation it is important to engage in proper estate planning. This type of planning may include a revocable living trust that becomes irrevocable at the death of the first spouse, thereby preserving that person’s assets for distribution to their adult children from a prior marriage.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the proper comprehensive estate plan to put in place for your family to ensure a smooth transition of your wealth to the next generation, then please contact our office for a complimentary visit and conversation so that we can discuss your estate planning needs in further detail.
We look forward to hearing from you!