Estate Planning Attorney Serving Blended Families in the Inland Empire
Second marriages have become much more prevalent over the past several years, and the legal issues associated with entering into a second marriage should be taken into consideration. In many cases, each parent has a child or children from a previous marriage, and may be bringing separate assets and retirement plans into the new union. My name is Kristine Borgia, and when I am counseling couples planning on entering into a blended family through a second (or subsequent) marriage I encourage them to have candid conversations about the planning required to protect the interests of their children while providing for each other in the future.
Most parents are interested in ensuring that their own children will be provided for if they pass away before their future spouse. There may be special assets such as collections, antiques, jewelry or other momentos that need to be passed on to specific beneficiaries. I help couples in these situations to have open productive conversations, so that we can design a trust that will protect their separate and shared assets, while providing for the children and heirs that exist today, as well as any that may come out of the new union. There are several strategies to accomplish this goal, but the central goal is usually to provide for the needs and care of the surviving spouse while ensuring that all heirs are fairly and fully protected.
Elements of a Second Family Trust
Each situation is unique, but planning your second family trust must take into account the following factors:
- Existing children, beneficiaries or heirs
- Future children who come out of the new union
- Protection of assets and shielding from tax liability upon the passing of one or both spouses
- Provision for the ongoing needs of the surviving spouse, while setting aside or protecting a significant portion for the estate for the children and wishes of the first spouse to pass
- Management of existing retirement, investment, real property and separate assets
- How income from trust assets will be accessed by the surviving spouse
- The use of real estate held in common (or separately) for the benefit of the surviving spouse
- Provision for emergency needs and medical requirements, as well as health, education, maintenance and support
- Flexibility for the surviving spouse while locking in assets for the benefit of designated heirs and beneficiaries (children from previous marriages)
- Immediate or structured access to the appropriate share of the assets for surviving beneficiaries of the spouse that has passed
Contact an Established Second Marriage Trust Lawyer Serving the Inland Empire
It is helpful to have a neutral third party who understands the intricacies of the legal and family issues and dynamics, who can also keep the conversation from becoming a dispute between the two, while raising what can be challenging questions that will need to be resolved. It may seem like the legal issues of a couple planning to enter in a second marriage may be a bit “touchy”, but I can be a positive counselor while protecting your assets, your children and the needs of each new spouse in the future. I invite you to call me at (951) 784-0244 or email me to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. It’s important to plan effectively as you begin your new life together.