If you have children from your first marriage, then those kids may have an entirely justified concern that their new step-parent could throw a big roadblock in the path of their inheritance.
When you got married again, it automatically revoked your previous Wills. If you don’t make a new Will after the latest marriage, the law of the State where you live will create a default Will for you, according to a statutory formula which probably won’t suit your intentions.
If you simply made an “I Love You” Will (leaving everything to your new spouse), then your kids from the previous relationship(s) will be forced to sue your deceased estate to ensure they receive their inheritance. This is because your kids probably would not be able to claim against the deceased estate of your current spouse.
It can get complicated. So you had better take the time to work with a lawyer who specialises in estate planning – someone to guide you through the process of planning your estate to be fair with everyone and minimise family fights
An experienced estate planner will help you to provide for the older children, as well as the younger spouse, and any younger children. There can be many family property issues to address and guard against.
You may need help to carefully select appropriate executors and trustees, and guardians for your infant children. Testamentary trusts may have to be set-up to protect inheritances for younger beneficiaries.
You will definitely want to discuss preparing for disability and end-of-life decisions, and the importance of keeping your plan current.
Rod Genders is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in accident compensation and estate planning in Adelaide. His boutique specialist law firm is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia – visit it at www.genders.com.au . Rod is also a prolific author and speaker. Some of his articles and books on Wills, Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Planning may be found at www.genders.com.au/adelaide-lawyer-blog.
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