Remarriage and Estate Planning

DEAR GARDEN STATE TRUST COMPANY,
MY ADULT CHILDREN ARE UPSET ABOUT MY UPCOMING REMARRIAGE.  I KNOW THAT THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR INHERITANCES (AND ALSO WHO’LL GET THE FAMILY HOME, I’M SURE). I WILL PROVIDE FOR THEM, JUST AS I DID IN MY EARLIER WILL, BUT I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF MY NEW SPOUSE, TOO.  ANY SUGGESTIONS ABOUT WHAT I CAN DO?
—LOOKING TO KEEP EVERYONE HAPPY

Dear “Looking”,

Have you thought about adding a trust to your will? A trust plan will let you provide for both your new spouse and your children.

Your trust could provide your spouse with a regular income from the assets in the trust for life. At the spouse’s death, the trust can distribute the assets among your children. You can make a similar arrangement for the family home. Your spouse can live there for life, and then the house could pass to the children.

If you are worried about conflicts of interest, or that an heir might pressure the trustee to do (or not do) something, you can ask us to serve as trustee or cotrustee. That way, you’ll know that all of your heirs will be treated impartially and fairly.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that a trust will keep peace in the family. But it’s an arrangement that can help implement your wishes for your property.

Sincerely,

Garden State Trust Company