Another way to disinherit your children is through a second marriage

A typical way for people to disinherit their children is through a second marriage.  In part 4, we talked about joint tenancy.  Another way is through estate planning, but just not fully adequate estate planning.

Again, let’s use an example.  Robert is married to Carole and they have two children, Mark and Mike.  Robert dies after living a long and full life.  Carole, after several years, remarries.  This great guy is Theodore.  In our earlier example Carole and Theodore titled everything in joint tenancy.  In this case, they properly go to an attorney to have a new will drawn up.  Unfortunately, they leave everything to one another with a provision that if the other one were to die, all would go to their respective children.  Carole dies before Theodore, so he gets all of the assets, including Carole and Robert’s home.  When Theodore dies, all of the assets go to his children and Mark and Mike get nothing.

The proper way to draft this provision is to create a trust (whether in a separate document or within the will itself; called a testamentary trust).  The trust should provide that the surviving spouse gets the use of the assets during their lifetime, including any income for their health and welfare.  Then, upon their death, those assets can go to the first spouse’s children.

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