Numerous studies show a senior widower is much less likely to stay single than his female counterpart… [and that] often leaves the question of how the father can protect the children’s inheritance if there is a second wife in the picture. In that case, a trust may be a man’s best friend, according to advisors.
Mixed families and second marriages are increasingly common, and while that’s all well and good (it’s modern life) it does create some sticky situations. Like no other era, children are not simply ranked from eldest to youngest, and the centuries-old laws set out to privilege marriage may end up muddying the waters and hurting the children (adult or otherwise) of previous marriages. If you and your family have come together at different stages, then it simply makes sense for you to plan differently and appropriately in light of your unique challenges.
Financial Advisor recently took up the issues facing a specific type of blended family – one created when a senior widower remarries. The role of the widower is statistically proven to be one of the most likely to give rise to challenging situations. More than 60 percent of men (compared to less than 20 percent of women) are involved in a new romance or remarried within two years of the passing of their first spouse.
What many fail to recognize is that a new set of legal arrangements automatically apply upon remarriage, the implications of which may conflict with previously agreed upon intentions. Proper estate planning can eliminate, or at least mitigate, these unintended consequences. Of course, as Financial Advisor states, the revocable trust “may be a widow’s best friend.” A trust arrangement can put legal muscle behind your intentions and ensure they are carried out as you plan.
Any individual or family entering a blended family situation should consider framing assets and rights from the outset, and a revocable living trust is one of your most powerful tools to do so.
Reference: Financial Advisor (October 16, 2012) “A Trust May Be A Widower's Best Friend”