Especially if you are remarrying later in life, you may have children from a prior relationship. As you enter your new life with your spouse, it can be essential to protect your children through careful estate planning.
Are your children underage?
If you come into a second marriage with underage children, your spouse may have every intention of caring for those children as they would their own. However, you should think carefully about who you want to raise your child if you pass away suddenly. Whether you choose to name your spouse, your child’s other parent, another relative or a family friend, naming a guardian in your will ensures that your child will have the support they need as they grow.
In addition to guardianship, you may want to consider placing assets in trust to ensure that they receive the financial support they need. By placing your assets in trust, you can provide for your children and outline when your child will receive those assets. This allows you to set aside money for their college education, for the purchase of their first car and other milestones of life.
Are your children adults?
As Forbes notes, careful estate planning can ensure that your children from a prior relationship receive their inheritance after you are gone. If you pass away before your new spouse, the assets they inherit will be distributed according to their estate plan, and that may not include your children. While you may have an understanding with your spouse, you should also reinforce that intention with a clearly-outlined estate plan.
You may also want to consider the family heirlooms, your home or other important assets that your child would like to receive. Creating a specific plan for these assets—whether that plan involves leaving them to your child at your passing or placing them in trust—can prevent future conflict between your spouse and your children.
If you want to create an estate plan that protects both your spouse and your children, consider speaking to an experienced estate planning attorney about how to achieve those goals and provide for your loved ones.