Tips For Protecting Children In A Second Marriage


During our lifetimes many of us experience marriages, births, divorces, deaths, and separations. These are important events for each of us and play an important role in our daily lives. While we think in depth about the ins and outs of each of these occasions, how often do we think about them in the context of our Florida estate planning?

It’s true that there is a close correlation between each of the significant moments in our lives and our estate planning. Perhaps nowhere does this hold more significance than when it comes to our children. Whether we are marrying for a second, third, or more times, we want to make sure that our children from any marriage are provided for in the future. Let us provide a few key estate planning considerations with you that we, as experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, share with our clients.

  1. Consider your existing asset structure and protect it. When we remarry later in life, it is more than likely that there are more assets to consider planning for. Assets range from your homes, vehicles, and personal tangible goods to retirement accounts, savings, life insurance policies, and brokerage accounts. It is only natural that you will want to ensure the children of your first marriage are the recipients of these assets. When you work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, he will be able to show you careful planning considerations for your Florida estate plan and may recommend a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can lay a foundation for understanding your goals for your previously owned assets at the time you entered into your marriage and protect your existing children.
  2. Thoughtfully plan for both your new spouse and your children. When you create your estate plan, you are creating a legacy. There is no reason, even with a prenuptial agreement, that you cannot plan for both your new spouse and your children. 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. Understand the laws of your state. Be aware that the state of Florida rules will apply. Your spouse must receive at least 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 in 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. Engage in open communication about your goals. While many of our clients want to keep their goals for their legacy private for as long as possible, 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. 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. Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.

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