Have you ever thought about how many times during our lifetimes many of us experience marriages, births, divorces, deaths, and separations? These events are important and they play an important role in our daily lives. When we think in depth about the ins and outs of each of these events, we need to think about them in the context of our Wisconsin estate planning.
Did you know that there is a close correlation between each of the significant moments in our lives and our estate planning? And nowhere does this hold more significance than when it comes to our children. If you are marrying for a second, make sure that your children from your first marriage are provided for in the future. Consider these few tips for estate planning that we share with our clients.
With previous generations remarrying more often, they are usually the age group that has more assets coming into a remarriage.
- Think about your current asset structure and be sure to protect it. When you remarry later in life, there are usually more assets to consider planning for. Your assets range from residences, cars, and personal tangible goods, to retirement accounts, savings, life insurance policies, and brokerage accounts. Of course you want to ensure the children of your first marriage are the recipients of these assets. When you work with your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney he will show you careful planning considerations for your estate plan and may even 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.
- Plan thoughtfully for both your new spouse and your children. Did you know that when you create your Wisconsin estate plan you are creating a legacy? And even with a prenuptial agreement you can plan for both your new spouse and your children. Discuss with your Wisconsin 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.
- Understand the laws of your state. Be aware that Wisconsin state rules will apply as well. Your spouse must receive the elective share unless you plan around this in advance in your prenuptial agreement. This could include at least a life estate of 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 estate planning attorney to make this a reality.
- Communicate your goals to your family. Often our clients decide to keep their goals for their legacy to themselves for as long as possible. However, communication in this area can be essential to avoiding future legal challenges. If you feel comfortable, discuss your goals with your new spouse as well as your adult children. Consider including them in your meetings with your Wisconsin 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. Contact our office to discuss your options if you will be giving or receiving money or other assets this holiday season and anticipate this may impact your Medicaid eligibility. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.