Second Marriage Estate Planning

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SECOND MARRIAGEAt Thomas A. Moseley, Chartered we have recently seen a greater number of probate litigations involving second marriages. Litigation often arises upon the death of a spouse when there are children of the deceased spouse from a prior marriage. Such litigation usually involves children of a deceased husband against the surviving wife. Relatives of the deceased spouse may also be involved in litigation against the surviving spouse. There are often warning signs of problems to come which are ignored. An estrangement between a child or a relative and one spouse is usually one of the precursors of problems to come. A decision to leave your entire estate outright to your spouse may result in a disinheritance of your children. This risk of disinheritance, particularly of family heirlooms and family assets, is a major motivating factor for children or relatives to file a lawsuit.

Proper estate planning can minimize the potential family conflicts. A premarital agreement can also help. Family relationships, the economic success of each family member and many other factors must be taken into account. If problems do arise, the surviving spouse will need help managing these problems. If litigation with children or other relatives occurs, the surviving spouse will require assistance in the settlement, mediation or defense of such litigation.

Thomas A. Moseley, Chartered can assist you and your spouse with premarital planning, estate planning, probate litigation and trust litigation. We specialize in problem prevention and problem resolution for second marriages.