Have you been married before? If so, you probably have questions about the estate planning process and how that might shift based on your changing family dynamics. If this applies to you, you’ll likely want to continue to protect your children from your first marriage in your estate plan. These issues can be tricky, so it’s worth working with an estate planning attorney in Virginia Beach, VA who has the right experience to support you.
Second marriages can be very problematic from an estate planning perspective if you’re not in touch with a lawyer and updating your plan regularly. You cannot always necessarily trust a surviving spouse to follow your wishes, especially as it relates to caring for your children from a previous marriage. A parent, for example, may leave everything to their wife or husband with a general understanding between those two people that after that person’s death, all remaining assets will be split with surviving children.
However, if the surviving spouse legally inherits everything on their own, there is nothing that stops them from changing beneficiaries on those accounts, so that all money goes to their own children or to other chosen heirs. A trust can be helpful in establishing an estate planning maneuver to protect this.
This is not applicable, however, if that trust is jointly owned by the couple. An estate planning professional can sit down with you to discuss many of the most common concerns around the estate planning process when you have multiple marriages or children from different partners.