Our attorneys always emphasize the fact that estate planning is an ongoing process. If you were to put an estate plan in place today, it would be based on your current life circumstances. As we all know, the only constant is change, so the picture will probably look quite a bit different years from now.
With the above in mind, marital status changes are quite common. The divorce rate for first marriages has gone steadily down over the last 30 or 40 years, but it is still rather high. Reports vary, but one study placed the number at 30 percent. Unfortunately, a higher percentage of second and third marriages do not withstand the test of time.
Clearly, many people that get divorced ultimately remarry, and a lot of them are parents. In this post, we will look at the estate planning steps that you can take to protect your interests when you are getting remarried as a parent.
You should definitely consider the execution of a prenuptial agreement if you are getting remarried as a financially successful person. If you work with an attorney to draw up this type of contract, you can make sure that your interests are protected come what may.
Since the divorce rate rises for second and third marriages, a premarital agreement is a prudent safeguard. We should also emphasize the fact that the protection swings both ways, so it can help both parties feel comfortable entering the marriage.
Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust
A qualified terminable interest property trust is a very useful estate planning tool that can be the ideal solution for a person of means that is getting remarried. It could be particularly attractive to someone that is marrying an individual that is quite a bit younger.
If you establish this type of trust, you would be called the grantor. Your new spouse would be the first beneficiary. The ultimate point of the trust would be to make sure that your children are not forgotten, so they would be the secondary beneficiaries.
As the grantor, you would fund the trust, and you would name a trustee to administer the vehicle after your passing. It can be someone that you know. Hwoever, many people use a professional fiduciary, like a trust company or the trust department of a bank.
Assuming you do in fact predecease your spouse, they would be able to use property that has been conveyed into the trust. This arrangement is often referred to as a life estate. The surviving spouse would also receive ongoing distributions from the trust’s earnings.
If you choose to do so, you could give the trustee the discretion to distribute portions of the principal. This is totally up to you. As you can see, your spouse would be well cared for after you are gone. However, he or she would have no ability to alter the terms of the trust in any way.
When the first beneficiary passes away, your children would inherit the assets that remain in the qualified terminable interest property trust.
Access Our Free Resources
We have some fantastic resources on this website aside from our blog, and one of them is our library of reports. We are offering these special reports free of charge right now. You can gain a better understanding of the process if you absorb some of this valuable information.
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Schedule a Consultation!
We would be more than glad to help you adjust your existing estate plan if you are getting remarried, or if you have any other life changes that would warrant an update. Of course, we can provide assistance if you are ready to put an initial estate plan in place.
You call us at 405-843-6100 to set up a consultation at our Oklahoma City office. You can also reach our Tulsa location at 918-615-2700. If you would rather reach out electronically, fill out our contact form and we will get in touch ASAP.
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