When Death Do Us Part

This one is for married folks (or those who may be married, or re-married, some day). It’s a topic that comes up every time we prepare an estate plan for a married couple. For some people, it’s the main reason they have sought out an estate planner; for many, it’s something they didn’t even think about until we brought it up during the planning session. But for ALL married couples, it’s something (and often, the most difficult thing) that must be decided as part of crafting the estate plan.

What happens when ONE spouse dies, and the other survives? And particularly, how much control should the surviving spouse have over the couple’s assets – particularly the jointly built and preserved assets, but also any assets that the deceased spouse may consider his or her “own” or “separate” property (for example, things that the deceased spouse brought to the marriage, or inherited from his or her family members) – after the other spouse has died? Do you think the surviving spouse should have COMPLETE control over all assets remaining in your combined “estate” (and by this, I mean everything that both or either of you own), or do you want the survivor to be constrained in some way(s) regarding the use or disposition of those assets?

Many people’s initial response is, (more…)

Published in: on October 13, 2019 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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