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Miami, FL 33180

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Handling second marriages in your estate plan

Older Floridians with palatial homes understand the importance of estate planning for their beneficiaries who stand to inherit property. Still, when the family home is up for grabs, especially after a second marriage, family squabbles can turn into full-on legal battles if the estate plan is not airtight. For those Floridians who own large homes that could become a contested asset, a comprehensive plan can prevent these financial nightmares.

Second marriages, especially to younger spouses, are common throughout Florida communities. This is a critical distinction, as the younger spouse may become the caregiver for the older; as a result, that spouse may feel more of a tie to the home. Establish your wishes through a prenuptial agreement before you even tie the knot. Consider the possibility of satisfying both your children and your spouse through creative estate agreements. For example, some benefactors allow their spouse to remain in the home for the rest of his or her natural life, with a trust set aside for repairs and upkeep. The home will then transfer to the adult children when the spouse passes away.

These decisions often come either at the time of the second marriage or when a serious illness is diagnosed for the benefactor. This is an emotionally sensitive time for everyone; instead of approaching your spouse with a confrontational attitude, show him or her that you care about the future by involving that person in estate discussions. In many cases, both younger spouses and adult children can receive the financial resources that you intend to gift them through your estate, without involving any legal disputes.

Residents who are not sure whether their estate plan is sufficient should consider a session with a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can assist with the creation of comprehensive estate plans that are sure to leave every family member satisfied.

Source: www.palmbeachdailynews.com, "Avoid home inheritance conflicts in second marriage" Gail Liberman, Oct. 06, 2013

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