Providing for Children of a Previous Marriage

What is the purpose of providing for children of a previous marriage?

If you are married, most of your assets will typically pass to your spouse when you die unless you specify otherwise. Your spouse then owns most of the family assets. If you have made other provisions, you may have granted your spouse sole responsibility for deciding what happens to these assets when he or she dies. In the traditional family, this is rarely a concern--the family assets typically pass from the parents to the children. But, more and more often, the so-called traditional family is the exception, not the rule.

Remarriage can create numerous estate planning concerns, especially when you need to provide for both your current spouse and your children from a previous marriage. In many cases, remarriage creates a situation of "yours, mine, and ours." In other words, you or your current spouse may have children from a previous marriage and the two of you may decide to have a family of your own. If you remarry late in life, your spouse may not develop a stepparent relationship with the children from your previous marriage and may feel very little responsibility toward them. When you die, things could get extremely complicated. If this is the case, you need to take positive steps now to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

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