We live in an era when divorces have become commonplace, and most people who get divorced remarry at some point, and as we all know there are those who get married and divorced multiple times. These remarriages create blended families, and when you are in a blended family situation you need to pay close attention to your estate plan. It should first be noted that any time your marital status changes you should sit down with your estate planning lawyer and discuss the adjustments that are necessary given the new circumstances. There are certain assets that may pass to your former spouse outside of probate if you don’t take the necessary steps to disinherit your ex.
How each of us chooses to conduct his or her life is a personal matter, but we do have a responsibility to our children even after we get divorced from their other parent, and most people are well aware of this and take it to heart. For this reason, the romance that goes along with a new relationship and subsequent marriage is logically tempered to some extent by the pragmatic realities that exist when families blend, even when the children are grown. This should be a given when mature people of some means are entering into a union after one or both of them have been married previously and have children.
One way to handle the matter is to enter into a premarital agreement that defines the personal property of each party as you enter into the marriage. You can then create and fund a QTIP or Qualified Terminable Interest Trust and your spouse will be the beneficiary. In the event of your death he or she will receive the income that is derived from the assets in the trust for life. But, after the death of the beneficiary these assets go to an heir or heirs that you chose when you originally created the trust rather than passing to the next of kin of the spouse you left behind.