There are solutions that can be implemented to address any and all circumstances that may present themselves when you are planning your estate. This is one of the reasons why you should discuss your options with a licensed attorney from our firm.
When it comes to remarriages that create blended families, there are many factors to take into consideration. The age of everyone concerned will be part of the equation along with the assets that are being brought into the marriage by each party.
It is unlikely that a simple will is going to be sufficient when you are getting remarried. A trust can be a far better choice, and one of them is the qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust.
A QTIP trust can be the ideal solution if you have significant resources, and you are marrying someone that is younger. If you utilize this strategy, you fund the trust and you name a trustee to act as the administrator.
This is a very important choice, and you should make it wisely. The trustee is going to be in a delicate position, so you should choose someone that is not going to be tempted to show any favoritism.
Since people that you know will inevitably have some type of relationship with your children and your spouse, you may want to use a professional fiduciary like a trust company.
Your spouse would be the first beneficiary of the trust, and your children would be the successor beneficiaries. If you predecease your spouse, the trustee would distribute the trust’s earnings to your surviving spouse for the rest of their life.
You can give the trustee the latitude to provide discretionary distributions of the principal if this is your choice. Plus, your spouse could use property that is owned by the trust. For example, they could live in a home that is held by the trust.
They would be comfortable and secure going forward, but they would not be able to change the terms of the trust. After their death, your children would become the beneficiaries of the trust.
Even if you are going to make your children the ultimate beneficiaries of a QTIP trust, you should make sure that they receive part of their inheritances shortly after your passing. This will ease any tension that could exist between the children and your surviving spouse.
It is not a very pleasant subject to think about, but a significant percentage of elders become unable to handle their own affairs at some point in time. If you do nothing to prepare for this eventuality, the state could appoint a guardian to act on your behalf.
You can take the matter into your own hands in advance if you execute the appropriate documents. A living will is an advance directive for health care that is used to state your preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining measures.
To empower someone to make medical decisions on your behalf that are not related to life-support, you can add a durable power of attorney for health care. A HIPAA release should be included to give your representative the ability to access your health care records.
You can add a durable power of attorney for property to name someone to manage property that is not held by a trust.
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These are just a few of the different steps that can be taken, but when you work with our firm, your estate plan will be adapted to suit your needs. We will make sure that all your bases are covered to your satisfaction, and we will be available to revise the plan if it becomes necessary.
You can schedule a consultation with one of our Memphis, TN estate planning lawyers if you call us at (901) 763-2500 or (866) 997-6325 or fax us at (901) 763-2525. Though our office is located in Memphis, we have attorneys that are licensed in Arkansas and Mississippi, so we have a significant reach.
If you would rather request an appointment electronically, fill out our contact form and you will receive a prompt response.