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Can Estate Plan Be Created without My Spouse?

Protecting the life you have built for people you love.
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July 13, 2023 •  Emily Hicks Law, PLLC
I’m looking for guidance on where to start with planning in case something happens to me or my husband.

Second marriages often come with complex estate planning issues. Every family is unique in its own way. Imagine you recently got married and welcomed a beautiful baby into your lives. However, your husband has three children from his previous marriage and is set to inherit significant assets and family wealth. He insisted on a prenuptial agreement that would require you to forfeit any rights to these assets.

Initially, your husband promised to secure life insurance that would name you as the beneficiary. Unfortunately, he has now changed his mind and refuses to discuss creating a will or estate plan.
In this situation, where you want to ensure a secure future for your son, what can you do on your own?
It is understandable that your husband wants to provide for his children from his first marriage. However, it is disheartening that he does not extend the same consideration to your current marriage.
Even if your husband is uncooperative, there are steps you can take to protect your son's future. Seek the assistance of an experienced wills, trusts, and estates attorney to have estate documents prepared.
Additionally, you can purchase life insurance policies and designate your child as the beneficiary. Life insurance policies are considered non-probate assets, meaning the beneficiary can receive the proceeds more quickly than if they had to wait for the estate to go through probate court.
It is highly recommended to have a will drafted, regardless of whether you choose to buy an insurance policy. A will provides guidance on how your assets should be distributed after your passing, allows you to name an executor to handle your affairs, appoints a guardian for your minor child(ren), and expresses your wishes for your family and friends.
Another option to consider is establishing a trust to manage the distribution of your property. Exploring these options early in your son's life will help you feel more prepared for the future and provide a sense of security within your marriage.
If you have any specific questions about the prenuptial agreement, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the language and implications.
Remember, even if your husband is unwilling to participate, you have the power to take control of your son's future and ensure he is provided for.

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

Suggested Key Terms: Estate Planning Lawyer, Wills, Inheritance, Asset Protection, Probate Attorney, Beneficiary Designations, Life Insurance, Prenuptial Agreement, Executor, Guardianship

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