Divorcing in Texas leaves many couples with children from multiple marriages. Without even a basic will, a person’s wishes for the division of their assets may not happen.
An estate plan can help a spouse provide for their second spouse while leaving something behind for all of their children.
Leaving the children an inheritance
CNBC states that parents may unintentionally disinherit children from prior marriages without an estate plan. This can happen because when someone dies without a will, the division of assets falls to the courts. Relying on the state can leave family members fighting it out in a public setting.
The older a person is when they pass, the more likely they are to have accumulated additional assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Some parents may wish to leave part or all of these assets to a child from a prior marriage with other assets left to their current spouse. Designating heirlooms in the estate plan can also prevent children from fighting over these often prized possessions.
Providing for a current spouse
Forbes recommends reviewing the estate plan after remarriage to make provisions for the current spouse. One way to protect a spouse after the other passes are by placing the family home in a trust. The spouse then has permission to remain in the home until they pass, even if another family member stands to inherit it.
A second spouse does not stand to inherit property obtained before the marriage in a community property state like Texas. However, the estate plan can make provisions for them to inherit some of these separate assets.