Incorporating Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements, Meeting Obligations to Children and Spouses, and Maximizing Tax Benefits

Estate planning for second and subsequent marriages is complex. Today this is a complex reality for more and more families. It doesn't seem like it should be. But the truth is that for most blended families the issues are complicated and often involve:

• Pre or post nuptial agreements,
• Children of different ages with different needs,

• The need to protect a spouse and children from one or more marriages and many more, legal, tax, and practical issues,

• The question of conflicting interests and whether you and your spouse need one lawyer or more.

What is going to happen to your premarital property or property accumulated during the course of a subsequent marriage?

Are there children from your current and or prior marriages and how do their needs differ?

Do you have any obligations from a prior divorce judgment?

Who will be your agent under a power of attorney (POA) or your executor or trustee for your heirs?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have become common in second marriages, and incorporating these agreements into estate and trust plans for spouses of second marriages is critical. For example the tax implications of these prior agreements can be significant.

Failure to review these documents with your estate lawyer can be a real problem.

A comprehensive estate plan must include arrangements for joint and separately held assets, tax planning for both you and your spouse, and implement your intentions regarding children from each marriage, and among other considerations arranging for alimony and support obligations.

Just holding all of your assets in joint names or naming a current spouse as an IRA beneficiary my not be able to accomplish your goals.

A second or subsequent marriage should be an exciting time for you and your family. Make sure you include this new part of your life into your old will and trust so that your most recent intentions can be fulfilled effectively.

So if you have a second marriage and or blended family and you want to get the most from your consultation with a  trust and estate lawyer get our report and more information about planning issues for second marriages and blended families by emailing  [email protected] and mention " blended family" in the subject line.

David M. Frees, III
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Attorney, Speaker and Author
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