Question 11

11.  Are your assets going to go to your children from a previous marriage rather than your spouse?

    An unintended and tragic occurrence can result in not having an estate plan. One example involves a couple without a will where one or both of the spouses was married before and had children from that marriage. The current spouse would be shocked to realize that in most states, the children from the previous marriage could receive up to two thirds of the deceased spouse's entire estate leaving the current surviving spouse only one third and in serious financial straights for retirement. Another shocking example also involves a 2nd marriage of a couple, each with children from a previous marriage. Instead of having an estate plan, they put all their assets in joint names with right of survivorship - thus inadvertently disinheriting the children of the spouse that dies first. What happens tragically in this case, is all of the assets of the surviving spouse, without an estate plan now go to that spouses children and nothing to the children of the spouse that dies first. They become disinherited. The law is clear in every state. Either you develop your own estate plan or the government has a plan for you that they will implement regardless of what you would have wanted but didn't get around to taking care of. The stakes are too high without a plan. Work with a team of legal and financial professionals to assure you take care of this important business.

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