Preparing your Last Will and Testament (the Will) is critical for helping insure that your wishes are respected after you’re gone. Married couples with children may have special concerns regarding how money bequeathed to the surviving partner is handled after the survivor passes away. The following example demonstrates how this type of issue may be addressed.
Robert Smith is married with two children. In his Will, Robert bequeathed all his assets to his wife, Susan. However, in his Will, Robert also requested that, upon her death, Susan divide any of Robert’s remaining assets equally between their children. The problem is that after Robert’s gone, Susan is free to do whatever she wants with those assets. She’s not obligated to respect Robert’s wishes regarding passing along remaining assets to the kids.
Robert’s attorney came up with a solution to address this issue. It’s called a testamentary trust. This trust, created through Robert’s Will, includes specific language tailored to Robert’s wishes, and goes into effect upon his death. The trust can be drafted to ensure that once Susan’s gone, those assets will pass to Robert’s children.
Testamentary trusts may be useful for many different marital scenarios including second marriages. However, as with any trust, the language must be very carefully crafted to reflect your wishes. Under the circumstances, consulting with an attorney is highly advisable. Properly worded, a testamentary trust can help you exercise control over the situation long after you’re gone!
Getting Legal Help:
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney, Elga A. Goodman, can help you explore trust options and determine what best meets your needs. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.
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