warns, “It’s always about money, even if it isn’t.” says that estate planning-particularly when it’s a second marriage-may need much thought and effort. Does everything go to the surviving spouse? Do the kids get a piece? Does it go to the wife first, and what’s left goes to the kids? However you slice it, tension is ever-present and it doesn’t get better over time. Even if the kids don’t care about money, “they care that the spouse (who is not their mom) is getting it.”

For planning, you need to speak with an experienced estate attorney and discuss the details regarding what happens with the money-making sure that your spouse is taken care of but the kids are still included. Then there’s the question of heath care options and power of attorney. The article emphasizes that you really need to discuss this in advance.

Finally, you should talk to your family when you are competent to discuss your wishes. The article suggests that you do this with everyone in the room at the same time, so that the message to the family and the spouse is consistent. Private discussions with family members gives rise to everyone walking away with varying interpretations of the situation.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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