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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Second Marriage Wills and Adult Children

    I find myself in a sticky situation...How do I construct a will that is fair and equitable for all involved? You can't answer until you know a bit. My wife and I are both 52, we met and married 2 years ago, we each have 2 adult daughters, all 4 are 20 somethings. My wife came into the marriage with a small 401K and twice as much student loan debt. I came into the marriage with no debt and half way to having a retirement nest egg. We have new investments since marriage, and she moved into my house from an apartment. Her parents are very well to do and very elderly. So now she says we need to write a will and I need to think about how I want to take care of my kids before she decides how she will write hers.
    I think a will is an individual thing, so she writes hers and I write mine, but somehow we both agree or sign each others? How does this all work?
    Anyway the tough part is how do I decide how to take care of my kids? I mean this isn't like we are planning a divorce, but what if I die first? Shouldn't I take care of my kids first and leave her what we have gained while married? But what does that say about if she dies first, but after her parents, does her potential inheritance flow to her kids or to me?
    How do people decide how this should all work in the name of fairness and equity?
    I think what I had before she came along is different than equity we started while married, and should take a different path if one of us were to die before the other.
    What happens if I die first, and all I have goes to her, and then she goes before her parents go and what she had from me goes to her kids? That couldn't be right...
    What would you do? What do other people do in such sticky situations?

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2nd Marriage Wills - Adult Children

    This is a totally personal decision. You can give your money to anybody you wish except for the elective spousal share as determined by state law. She makes out her will and you make out yours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: 2nd Marriage Wills - Adult Children

    In some states it is possible to execute "contract wills" - where each of you drafts a will which has provisions that are irrevocable following the death of the other spouse. It may make sense to set up a revocable living trust before marriage, or even after marriage, or to have a prenuptial agreement (although as you're married you're obviously limited to post-marriage estate planning solutions).

    It is a very good idea to meet with an estate planning lawyer (a specialist, not somebody who does wills on the side) to discuss your estate situation and present wishes, to create an estate plan which will do what you want - while still leaving you with sufficiently flexible options in the event that your plans change in the future.

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