Mixed Family Makes for Meticulous Modifications…of your estate plan!
OK, raise your hand if you are either in or know of a mixed family…i.e. a couple gets married, but one or both of them have kids from a previous relationship, like the Brady Bunch. I am sort of getting a kick out of all the people raising their hands at their computers right now, but I digress. Many challenges can arise out of a mixed marriage. One of those challenges is balancing everyone’s interests in the event one of the partners would die. I know, it’s not something anyone wants to think about, but as the ancient Romans would say, Memento Mori, or “Remember Your Mortality”. I say remember your mortality and simply plan for it…if not for yourself, then for your family.
In the event a member of a mixed marriage dies without a will, the state of Wisconsin says that one half of the estate is to be left to the surviving spouse. The other half is to be provided in equal shares to the remaining children. What happens if you want your spouse to be able to stay in the marital home without having to buy your kids out? What happens if you have minor children, the guardian of which would likely be your ex-spouse, who would by default have control over those assets? Do you know of a family with a “black sheep” that may just force a sale of the marital home, displacing everyone else involved, just to get his or her share of the estate?
A well drafted will, trust or combination of these can help you prepare and plan for your mortality. You can provide for your spouse and your children as you see fit. You can establish who is to control the purse strings on a trust left for the benefit of minor children. You can make other wishes known as well. We can help walk you through the entire process. Memento Mori…now go Carpe the Diem!
A Realistic Approach, Honest Opinions, A New Way to Practice.
Nelson & Lindquist, S.C.