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Discussion Starter #1
I’m curious as to what is considered standard procedure in a will for people who have a new spouse but have kids by an ex.
it seems like it has the potential to create a mess . Let’s say the mom divorced and remarries, and the new husband sells his house and moves in with her. If she passes away, who gets the house and her assets?

Personally, I want all my land, house, and money to go to my kids. It seems if I had a new spouse, it would be awkward trying to do right by both. How do most people handle that?
 

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If you want all of your land, house, and money to go to your kids when you die, and none to your spouse, then I hope you and any spouse of yours have kept your assets completely separate, and exactly fair.

It's pretty hard (emotionally, mentally, and actually) to join lives in marriage with someone knowing you will be completely on your own financially in the event of their death, and that you will be planning nothing financially together for your old age during your marriage--- because your spouse doesn't want to ---and will be leaving everything to their children instead.

So, are you going to have your heirs sell the house out from under an 85 year old lady? How could you even own property jointly if you want nothing to be provided to to your spouse at all? How could your spouse ever feel at home in the marital home?

If you personally want to leave everything, as your say, to your kids and leave nothing to your spouse, why even get remarried? Just stay boyfriend and girlfriend with no financial entanglement.

I will say I know plenty of remarried adults who thankfully truly care for each other and want to do everything they can to make sure a surviving spouse will be taken care of in the event of their death.
 

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So I know of a couple ways of dealing with this:

1) Remarry, change will to a normal "Spouse is beneficiary" with the hope spouse will do the right thing by all kids.
2) Remarry, change spouse to beneficiary of ABC assets, with kids as beneficiaries of XYZ assets.
3) Remarry, change spouse to beneficiary and kids as secondary beneficiaries
4) Remarry and change will to say "Spouse gets this and kids get that"

5) Don't remarry, signifcant other keeps their assets, you keep your assets, kids get each parents' assets
6) Don't remarry, each signifcant other keeps their own individual assets, any joint assets go to surviving signifcant other

Personally what EB and I did was that we did remarry, the surviving spouse gets assets and in the will is the understanding that his kids would be beneficiaries of his assets ...and my kids would be beneficiaries of my assets. So no matter who goes first, the other spouse can use the retirement and home, etc. but once the second one of us goes, his kids split up his investments and inheritances and mine split up mine. Also, once he passes, I'll have it in my will lined out that A gets $ and splits it with B...and C gets $ and splits it with D...and vice versa. Honestly, we talk with each other and our kids so that everyone knows what's our wishes are, who's getting what, how it's all organized, etc.
 

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So I know of a couple ways of dealing with this:

1) Remarry, change will to a normal "Spouse is beneficiary" with the hope spouse will do the right thing by all kids.
2) Remarry, change spouse to beneficiary of ABC assets, with kids as beneficiaries of XYZ assets.
3) Remarry, change spouse to beneficiary and kids as secondary beneficiaries
4) Remarry and change will to say "Spouse gets this and kids get that"

5) Don't remarry, signifcant other keeps their assets, you keep your assets, kids get each parents' assets
6) Don't remarry, each signifcant other keeps their own individual assets, any joint assets go to surviving signifcant other

Personally what EB and I did was that we did remarry, the surviving spouse gets assets and in the will is the understanding that his kids would be beneficiaries of his assets ...and my kids would be beneficiaries of my assets. So no matter who goes first, the other spouse can use the retirement and home, etc. but once the second one of us goes, his kids split up his investments and inheritances and mine split up mine. Also, once he passes, I'll have it in my will lined out that A gets $ and splits it with B...and C gets $ and splits it with D...and vice versa. Honestly, we talk with each other and our kids so that everyone knows what's our wishes are, who's getting what, how it's all organized, etc.
Yes Affaircare, this is a partnered and caring way to do it!

I can't imagine marrying someone who cared not about providing at all for me as a surviving spouse, and wanted everything immediately to go to his children only!!
 

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@Livvie

To be fair, I know of a situation kind of like that. My aunt was in her late 70's when my uncle died, and there was a fella in her church whose wife had passed the year before...and he knew her for years and always thought highly of her. Well... each of them has grown children, their own house, their own social security/retirement...and for them to marry would actually mess them up enormously (from a financial point of view). They both care about each other deeply, and if they were younger they might marry, but they were in their 80's by the time they got serious.

What they decided to do is to each keep their own home, date "forever", and they spend evenings back and forth with each other. So if they want space, they can go to separate houses, but otherwise if he asks her on a date, she might "invite him in" to her house...or he'll take her back to his house "for a nightcap" (it's SOOO cute). Anyway, that way she keeps her social security and retirement, and when she passes the kids just inherit--and likewise for him and his social security and retirement and kids inheriting. All the kids all know each other and are fine with them "dating" like this, and they are both financially secure enough to carry on okay.

Thus, in their late 80's they have someone in their life whom they love who loves them, and when one passes the other won't need to be provided for cuz they have their own assets. It just kinda works! [/threadjack]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. Actually, I’m good. I’m selecting what someone listed as #5: I’m never marrying again, so no issue there. I live on a farm that has been in the family 100 years. I can’t imagine that not going to my kids, even though if I had a new spouse, I could see caring for her as well. It just shows another way that remarrying kinda messes with things.

I was just thinking about my two kids on their mom’s side. Both my kids are in college, and living on campus. I was just thinking if something happened to their mom now. The house I suppose wouldn’t be theirs for many years. I guess they’d have to move out all their stuff, because they don’t give a hoot about the step dad.

I remember my daughter saying several years ago, “I don’t tell people I have a step- dad. That sounds crazy. Why do I need a step dad? I have you, my real dad.”
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is true. I see both sides. It just seems like remarrying screws things up for the kids.
 

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I’m curious as to what is considered standard procedure in a will for people who have a new spouse but have kids by an ex.
it seems like it has the potential to create a mess . Let’s say the mom divorced and remarries, and the new husband sells his house and moves in with her. If she passes away, who gets the house and her assets?

Personally, I want all my land, house, and money to go to my kids. It seems if I had a new spouse, it would be awkward trying to do right by both. How do most people handle that?
I am in that position and its pretty simple. My will says that if I die first, my husband will be able to stay in the house until he either dies or marries again(or cohabits, which he wouldn't do anyway). Then it will be sold and my children will inherit the money between them.
I was very keen to get that agreed in my will as my father remarried a much younger lady who he had a child with and when dad died she got the home.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am in that position and its pretty simple. My will says that if I die first, my husband will be able to stay in the house until he dies or marries again(or cohabits, which he wouldn't do anyway). Then it will be sold and my children will inherit the money between them.
I was very keen to get that agreed in my will as my father remarried a much younger lady who he had a child with and when did died she got the home.
That sound like a good way to have the will fixed. Your past situation is an example of something that could happen against the kids. One never knows what a remarriage can bring about.
 

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That sound like a good way to have the will fixed. Your past situation is an example of something that could happen against the kids. One never knows what a remarriage can bring about.
I forgot to say that we both had our wills done together and he is 100% in agreement with it. The children know as well.
 

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If one of us dies first, everything goes to the other. When that spouse dies, 50% to her kids, 50% to mine. It can get a lot more complicated if there is family property or business - then the appropriate children should get that. Talk to an estate lawyer as they surely have experience with these issues and can advise you about what others have done and what may best suit your particular situation. One option is to set up a trust for the surviving spouse so they get income to live on, and then the rest goes to the children when that spouse dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses. I guess it depends on what one has and attitude toward it. If one just feels that a house is lumber, I guess it doesn’t matter. If you view what you have as special to the family, it makes a difference. If, for example, you have a 2000 acre ranch that been in the family since the 1800s with a beautiful, older home. It would seem weird that it partially goes to a new spouse and their kids and not all to the blood relations.
 

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I have been involved in a couple scenarios that may help

for couples that remarry but have kids from previous marriage i have seen in pre-nup where in case of death or divorce assets were protected. But what each person did was take out a life insurance to be left to that spouse while other assets left to children or others. Wills can be also be divided based on a scale of their marriage 1-5 years together gives the surviving spouse 25% of assets 5- 10 - 50% as examples) also any new assets created between the new couple then that entire amount could be given to the surviving spouse...

what needs to be ironed out those assets per-marraige and post marriage
 

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I am in that position and its pretty simple. My will says that if I die first, my husband will be able to stay in the house until he either dies or marries again(or cohabits, which he wouldn't do anyway). Then it will be sold and my children will inherit the money between them.
I was very keen to get that agreed in my will as my father remarried a much younger lady who he had a child with and when dad died she got the home.
Yeah, that's an easy solution; it's a called a life estate. The person who has the life estate can use the property for the remainder of their life, but cannot sell it, and there are usually some restrictions on what else they can and can't do (for example, they have to maintain the house located on the property, and can't tear it down to spite the heirs).

After the person with the life estate dies, the right to inhabit & use the property re-combines with the rest of the rights the heirs have... they can sell it then. or live on it. or redevelop it.

In re-married families, it's probably a good idea to have pre-nups for the same reason. You want some or all of your property maintained for your heirs, and your spouse may have the same wishes; you can arrange that beforehand. You can also account for future potential children with your new spouse in the pre-nup.
 

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I have been involved in a couple scenarios that may help

for couples that remarry but have kids from previous marriage i have seen in pre-nup where in case of death or divorce assets were protected. But what each person did was take out a life insurance to be left to that spouse while other assets left to children or others. Wills can be also be divided based on a scale of their marriage 1-5 years together gives the surviving spouse 25% of assets 5- 10 - 50% as examples) also any new assets created between the new couple then that entire amount could be given to the surviving spouse...

what needs to be ironed out those assets per-marraige and post marriage
this is great advice. and run (RUN!) from any potential spouse that says something like "I don't want our love to be reduced to a legal agreement"... that's not what's happening here.
 

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Yeah, that's an easy solution; it's a called a life estate. The person who has the life estate can use the property for the remainder of their life, but cannot sell it, and there are usually some restrictions on what else they can and can't do (for example, they have to maintain the house located on the property, and can't tear it down to spite the heirs).

After the person with the life estate dies, the right to inhabit & use the property re-combines with the rest of the rights the heirs have... they can sell it then. or live on it. or redevelop it.

In re-married families, it's probably a good idea to have pre-nups for the same reason. You want some or all of your property maintained for your heirs, and your spouse may have the same wishes; you can arrange that beforehand. You can also account for future potential children with your new spouse in the pre-nup.
We didn't have a pre-nup, I don't believe in them. In our case when we met I had a small house and his ex had their house, so my house will go to my children and the house his ex now has will go to his, so all benefit.
 

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this is great advice. and run (RUN!) from any potential spouse that says something like "I don't want our love to be reduced to a legal agreement"... that's not what's happening here.
I agree. I don’t plan to ever get married again, but if I do, there will be a pre-nup.
 

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I worked through this when dating my long-term ex-GF; it's more complicated than I first realized. You need to consider:

First (naturally) you have to figure out how you feel philosophically about the issue. How do you want to allocate your finances when you are gone? How do you want to allocate them while you're still alive, for that matter?

Second, basic practical stuff. How old are you? How are your finances now? What are your future plans / prospects? How is your partner situated? Third, are there any special circumstances you need to take into account?

Personally, I do not want to give away what I've set aside to someone who wasn't around to help me earn it. And I don't want that from anyone. I am willing to combine finances, however. I plan on working another 15 years. Since I won't marry a housewife, she'll be working also. That's plenty of time to invest for the future.

My general plan is my daughter will get my home and savings prior to marriage. My future wife would similarly keep her prior stuff separate. She and I would combine finances with anything accumulated going to the surviving spouse. She'd also get my retirement survivor benefits and any life insurance I have - quite a bit in total. But, I don't owe anyone a certain lifestyle. If she is in her 40s or 50s and has very little saved (which happens) then she might have a lean retirement. That's not ideal, but I'm not here to make up for 25 years of struggling.

The above could change, though. If my kid were to develop a chronic illness, for instance, I'd have to make sure she was cared for (there's no one else to do it). Or, if I married a younger lady who might outlive me by 15 - 20 years, I'd like to leave her a little more than I might otherwise. It all depends, so you have to take the advice given and adjust for your situation.
 

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I totally get that if you are of an older age...!

But to remarry in your 40s or 50s...with a possibility of decades together, and not want to leave anything to that spouse...
Agreed. I'd feel like I should at least leave what we accumulated during that marriage to the surviving spouse.
 
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