Can an Estate Plan Be Created without My Spouse?

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January 18, 2023 •  The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC
I’m looking for guidance on where to start with planning in case something happens to me or my husband.

It's an important question: "Can an Estate Plan be created without my spouse?" Say you’re recently married and have a baby. Your husband was married before you and has three children with his first wife, along with assets and family wealth he’ll likely inherit.  Before you two were wed, he insisted on a prenup being in place with you forfeiting your rights to it. Your husband said he would get life insurance designating you as the beneficiary. However, he’s now backing off that idea. In fact, he doesn’t even want to talk about making a will or an estate plan. If you want to make sure there’s a plan in place for your son, what can you do on your own? Nj.com’s recent article entitled “My husband won’t make an estate plan. What can I do?” says that it’s understandable that a husband wants to provide for his children from his first marriage. However, it’s too bad he’s not treating this current marriage the same way. Second marriages can frequently get quite complex as far as estate plans go! However, even if your husband doesn’t help, there are steps you can take. You can have estate planning documents prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney who focuses on wills, trusts and estates. In addition, you can buy life insurance policies, naming your child or children as beneficiary. A life insurance policy is considered a non-probate asset. This means that a beneficiary can receive the proceeds from the policy more quickly than if they had to wait for the estate to be settled through a probate court. 

 

With the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, you could also have a will drafted—which is recommended whether you buy an insurance policy or not. A will provides direction for what happens after you die and can distribute your property to your loved ones, name an executor to handle your affairs, name a guardian for your minor child(ren) and state your wishes for your family and friends. Another thought is to establish a trust to distribute your property. Exploring these options early in your son’s life might make you feel more prepared for the future, and more secure with the circumstances you have in your marriage. As far as the prenup, if you have specific questions about the language, you should speak with an experienced attorney. In many cases, a prenup can be a good thing! Don’t let the negative connotation of prenups jade your opinion beforehand!  For questions like this or "Can an Estate Plan be created without my spouse?", keep an open mind and seek the guidance of a certified elder law attorney with experience in this type of planning! If you or a loved one are concerned about issues with situations like this, and in estate planning and elder law concerns including Asset Protection/Medicaid Planning and questions regarding long-term care and the nursing home, reach out to us!  Book a call with us on our website: www.VAElderLaw.com to get started. We have offices in BassettDanville and Lynchburg to serve you.

 

Reference: nj.com (March 10, 2022) “My husband won’t make an estate plan. What can I do?” 

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