How do I protect my children’s inheritance after I re-marry? Estate Planning can be a difficult task for some to embark upon. This may seem a Herculean effort when you add in the complicating factor of a blended family. It doesn’t have to be as hard as people think. With a little forethought and some help from a thorough Estate Planning attorney everyone’s needs and wants can be met.
What are some of the options when planning for my children from a previous marriage?
In New Hampshire there are a variety of methods to address the issue of distribution of assets upon passing. In the case of second marriages with children from a prior relationship, the use of Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, and/or already existing Estate Planning tools such as Wills and Trusts can help protect your child or children from being divested of a previously planned inheritance.
- Prenuptial Agreement: A Prenup is an agreement made prior to marriage that helps to decide what happens when a marriage ends, but can also be used to protect a child’s assets or inheritance as well.
- Postnuptial Agreement: If already married, not to worry, in the State of New Hampshire the Courts will also enforce a Postnup, which can have the same effect as a Prenup if worded properly.
- The importance of these agreements is they are an efficient way to ensure that someone you are currently married to is not afforded to the “right” to a spousal share should you pass away.
Will a Trust or Will protect my children from having their inheritance taken by my current spouse?
Yes and no. There is a statute in place to protect surviving spouses from being left penniless, which can be read here http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LVI/560/560-10.htm. This statute allows a surviving spouse to claim one-third of the value of their passed spouse’s estate (personalty and realty) after payments and debts of the estate administration are paid off. That is a very simplistic explanation of the statute and how it works.
Unless some creative Estate Planning has been done, or a Prenup or Postnup has been executed waiving the statutory rights, then a spouse is guaranteed this third by law. Estate Planning in concert with a good financial planner can help you to effectively take care of your children after you are gone.
To learn more about the rights and protections of your children’s inheritance, please feel free to contact us in downtown Nashua, NH for a free consultation. We have flexible hours to work with your busy schedule. Call today 943-5647