Ways You Can Protect Your Children From a Previous Marriage
Have you found in your lifetime that you have experienced marriages, births, divorces, deaths, and separations? Have you found that these important events played an important role in your daily life? Have you thought about them in regard to your Florida estate planning?
When you think about the significant moments in your life and your estate planning, your children are probably top of mind. In fact, whether you are marrying for a second, third, or more times, you want to be sure that your children from any previous marriages are provided for in the future. We want to share some ways to protect your children with estate planning considerations that we, as experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, share with our clients.
1. Review your existing asset structure and be sure to protect it. If you remarry later in life, you will presumably have more assets. Your assets may range from your homes, vehicles, and personal tangible goods, to retirement accounts, savings, life insurance policies, and brokerage accounts. Of course you will want to be sure the children of your first marriage are the recipients of these assets. By working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney he will be able to show you careful planning considerations for your estate plan and he may also recommend a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can lay a foundation for understanding your goals for your previously owned assets at the time you enter into your marriage, and protect your existing children.
2. Review and thoughtfully plan for both your new spouse and your children. Often, when you create your Florida estate plan it includes your legacy. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, there is no reason that you cannot plan for both your new spouse and your children. You should discuss with your Florida estate planning attorney how you can create a last will and testament or trust agreement that details the distribution of specific assets you want your new spouse or your children to receive.
3. Review and be sure to understand the laws of your state. Be aware that Florida state rules will apply. Your spouse must receive the elective share, roughly thirty percent of your estate, unless you plan around this in advance in your prenuptial agreement. This could include at least a life estate of your home and other assets. If your primary goal is to provide for the children of a previous marriage you will want to work closely with your Florida estate planning attorney to make this a reality.
4. Review your goals in an open communication with your spouse and children. There are clients who want to keep their goals for their legacy private, however, open communication in this area can be critical to avoiding future legal challenges. If you are comfortable, discuss your goals with your new spouse as well as your adult children. In fact, consider including them in your meetings with your Florida estate planning attorney so everyone knows, and has time to both adjust and respect, your wishes.
We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Contact our office to discuss your options if you will be giving or receiving money or other assets this holiday season and anticipate this may impact your Medicaid eligibility. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 39 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.