A big concern in New York estate planning for second marriages is making sure each spouse’s share of the estate ends up with the desired beneficiary. Traditional estate planning distributes an estate to the spouse and then to the children. However, that may not comply with your wishes.
If the proper estate planning isn’t done, when one spouse dies, the surviving spouse can still implement planning to meet the spouse’s desires. Various types of planning techniques allow you to leave assets to your current spouse while still ensuring that your children inherit assets. Some married couples use trusts to accomplish their goals. Family Protection Trusts in New York can be used to make sure your assets stay protected for your loved ones.
Planning for Blended Families in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City, NY
It’s common for a second marriage to bring children into the family from a prior marriage or union. This is often referred to as a blended family. Blended families require careful New York estate planning to ensure the needs of each spouse and child are met.
Most parents want to ensure assets will pass to their children or grandchildren, and maybe not their stepchildren. However, without careful estate planning, there’s no guarantee that your children will inherit your assets. In fact, if a couple creates identical wills passing their assets to the surviving spouse, there is a risk that their children will be disinherited. Planning is essential for New York blended families. Working with an experienced New York estate planning attorney can ensure your assets get passed to your loved ones.
What to Consider When Estate Planning for a Second Marriage
Planning with Wills and Trusts that pour into a Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP) is an option that allows the surviving spouse to have the income for their lifetime. The trustee gives them assets at their discretion, allowing the children to inherit assets when the second spouse passes. This type of trust can also save estate taxes.
Other options to consider when creating an estate plan after a second marriage in New York are:
- Is your durable power of attorney and health care proxy up to date?
- Does your ex-spouse have the authority to handle your finances and make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to do those things for yourself?
- Did you change the beneficiary of your assets that pass by operation of law, such as life insurance or retirement accounts (IRAs)?
- If you signed a pre-nuptial agreement, do you have your copy in a safe place?
Proper New York estate planning can ensure your loved ones remain in control of your assets and decision-making should you become unable to carry out your own wishes.
Russo Law Group, P.C. helps you and your loved ones handle Estate Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, New York Medicaid Planning, Trust & Estate, Guardianship, Small Business Planning, and Real Estate Law. We welcome you to contact our Garden City, Lido Beach, or Islandia, New York, law offices to learn more about how we can help address your estate planning legal matters. Ask us about snowbird estate planning.
If you have questions or concerns about estate planning for second marriages in Long Island and New York City communities, please don’t hesitate to contact the estate planning attorneys with Russo Law Group, P.C. While we have several office locations, we can also visit your home and offer virtual meetings for convenience.