Providing for Your Spouse & Children in a Second Marriage
The comprehensive guide
Richard Barnes, Attorney
May 2009, 1st Edition
Create an estate plan for your whole family, including your current
spouse and children from your current and previous marriages. With Estate Planning for Blended Families, you'll get targeted
In nearly half of all stepfamilies, one spouse or the other
brings a child or children with them. But while most estate
planning books give a general overview of the process of creating a
will, trust or other estate plan, most do not have the information
that couples in a second marriage need to provide for the entirety
of their family.
Estate Planning for Blended Families is the first book
that will help you provide for your current spouse as well as
children from both your previous and current marriages. Attorney
Richard Barnes is a practicing lawyer who helps couples just like
you create estate plans that take care of the entirety
of a blended family. You'll get targeted
Identifying goals and concerns
Discussing matters with your spouse
Planning for all children involved
Estate and gift taxes in a second marriage
Choosing executors, trustees and guardians
Working with lawyers, financial planners and other
Estate Planning for Blended Families also includes sample
estate plans, current tax information for your state, and the
latest information about which federal and state laws apply to you
and your loved ones, so that you can create the right estate plan
for your whole family.
“Blended families face unique challenges when they begin to plan their estates. Richard Barnes’ straightforward exploration of many of these challenges makes it a must-read for remarried couples.” - Jon J. Gallo, Co-Author, Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children
“A much-needed book that thoroughly covers a complex and emotional topic with great sensitivity and clarity.” - Joseph H. Astrachan, Editor, Family Business Review and Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center
Richard Barnes is a practicing lawyer, author and regular speaker on business and estate planning. He is the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia, a past President of the Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers, a past President of the Valdosta Rotary Club, a contributor to South Georgia Business magazine, a member of the Valdosta Bar Association, and a member of the American Bar Association. Richard is an Adjunct Professor at Valdosta State University, teaching a course on Business Associations.
Richard is a graduate of Rhodes College and Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was the Senior Student Writing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He served as General Counsel for the Transmission Networks Systems Division of Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. and practiced law at two Atlanta firms before joining a firm in Valdosta.
Your Estate Planning Companion
1. The View From the Mountaintop
What Is Estate Planning?
Your Path to Successful Estate Planning
Keeping It All Together
2. Identifying Your Goals and Concerns
What Are Your Goals?
What Do You Want to Avoid?
3. Balancing Your Planning for Spouses, Children, and Stepchildren
Making Your Wishes Clear
How Big Is Your Pie?
Who Gets a Slice of the Pie?
How Big Are the Slices?
Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty: Specific Assets
Building Relationships With Children and Stepchildren
4. You and Your Spouse: Talking It Through, Working It Out
Talking About the Tough Stuff
Tips for Resolving Differences
Common Roadblocks – And How to Get Around Them
Federal Estate Tax
State Estate Taxes
The Federal Gift Tax
Gift Tax vs. Estate Tax: Why It’s Better to Give Now Than Later
The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
6. Tools and Techniques for Blended Families
Understanding Probate and Nonprobate Assets
Will or Trust? Get This Right and Things Start to Fall Into Place
Providing for Your Spouse but Making Sure Your Children Ultimately Get Your Stuff
Providing Cash for Loved Ones With Life Insurance
Sharing the Wealth Now: Making Gifts During Your Life
Other Tax-Saving Tools
7. Spouses of Unequal Wealth
Talk, Talk, and Keep on Talking
Should You Help Out the Stepchildren?
Good Tools for Spouses of Unequal Means
8. The May-December Romance
Providing for the Younger Spouse
Providing for the Older Spouse’s Children
Providing for Children From the Current Relationship
9. Family Property
The Family Farm
A Family Business
10. Choosing Executors and Trustees
What Do Executors and Trustees Do?
Potential Candidates for Executor or Trustee
Helping Your Executor and Trustee
11. Preparing for Disability and End-of-Life Decisions
Premature Disability: How Would You Pay the Bills?
12. Working With Lawyers
How to Find the Right Lawyer for You
You Are the Client
How Lawyers Advise Couples
How Lawyers Bill
How Much Should It Cost?
The Estate Planning Process
Pulling Together the Information You Need
How to Help Your Lawyer (and Lower Your Bill)
Other Members of the Team: Accountants and Financial Advisers
13. Keeping Your Plan Current
Where to Keep Your Important Documents
When to Update Your Plan
Appendix A: Sample Estate Planning Questionnaire
Appendix B: Sample Estate Plans
Pete and Cynthia: Young Couple of Modest Means
Randy and Andrea: Grandparents Whose House Is
Their Primary Asset
Tom and Callie: Young Couple With Wealth
Jack and Lynn: Successful Couple With Age and Wealth Differences