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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > How To Provide For Your Spouse Without Triggering The Stepparent Wars

How To Provide For Your Spouse Without Triggering The Stepparent Wars


Until you have experienced it yourself, you might think that getting remarried when your children are minors is a minefield of conflict, but late-in-life romance is smooth sailing, whether or not you or your new partner has children.  After all, when you get remarried late in life, all parties involved are adults, including the stepchildren, and therefore it is reasonable for all the members of the blended family to conduct themselves in a mature manner.  Of course, adult stepchildren can be just as bratty as their younger counterparts.  Being the family member in the middle of this is a unique sort of pain.  You want to be fair to your children, and you are especially willing to put forth the effort it takes to have a good relationship with them since your ex-spouse would prefer to have them think of you as the bad guy.  On the other hand, you want to be fair to your new spouse and protect her from getting drawn into decades-old family drama.  If your children and your new spouse get along well, then your estate plan can enable you to avoid pitting them against each other during probate.  If they do not, then your estate plan can enable them to go their separate ways peacefully after you are gone. Your Tampa estate planning attorney can help you find the best way to do this.

Decide Now Who Has the Final Decision About Your Medical Care

You have the right to decide who should make medical decisions on your behalf if you become severely ill, but you must make this decision now and communicate it firmly.  Family conflicts about a person’s final illness never end when the person dies.  If some members of your family are unhappy with your decision now, at least they know that it is what you really mean, and they can respect your wishes.

Avoiding Conflicts Over Inherited Property

A disinherited spouse has the right to claim an elective share from the estate; disinherited children do not, but they have the right to challenge the will.  The best way to avoid either scenario is to leave some property to each.  You might set up one trust for your spouse and another for your children.  Regarding your house, you might wish to give your spouse life estate in your house, which means that your children can inherit the house only after you and your spouse have both died.  Your spouse may not sell the house, but her right to live there rent-free will give her more money to leave to her heirs in her will.  Likewise, by the time the house passes into your children’s possession, its value probably will have appreciated.

Contact David Toback With Questions About Estate Planning as Peacekeeping

A Central Florida estate planning lawyer can help you avoid conflicts between your spouse and your children about your medical care and your property.  Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.



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