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Worried Your Surviving Spouse Can’t Handle the Estate

Are you worried your surviving spouse can’t handle the estate when you’re gone? Learn what to do in this video and call our Stillwater lawyers.




Question:

I am concerned that my spouse will not be able to handle our estate when I pass; what do I do?

Answer:

When establishing your estate plan, it’s important to have real conversations with your spouse. Each relationship is different. Sometimes you have a strong male influence. Sometimes you have a strong female influence. You need to be honest about whether one spouse can deal with the children after the other spouse passes away.

No one wants to admit they will be unable to say no to children if they must, but it’s imperative to have meaningful conversations about this. If you believe both of you or one of you will have difficulty standing up to children after one of you passes, you need a way to provide help to that spouse. This will ensure the surviving spouse can continue living life instead of putting the children’s financial needs before their own.

You can give the surviving spouse the tools and professional guidance to maintain their boundaries through a co-trustee and an irrevocable trust. Having a team to provide the surviving spouse with input regarding decisions is also helpful. I would suggest a family financial planner, an attorney, and a CPA be involved in such a team.

If you want to make double sure — triple sure your spouse doesn’t have to take the heat from surviving children, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of appointing a fiduciary or an attorney as a co-trustee. You can then you make it very clear how you want your trustee to respond to your heirs in a variety of circumstances in which money may become an issue. Using video of yourself to specify these things is incredibly helpful.

Just because your heirs think their need money doesn’t mean they need money. Just because your heirs have a financial problem doesn’t mean you need to rescue them. The greatest lessons of life are learned by taking care of your own problems, not by having someone else solve them for you.


Are you or a loved one looking to plan your estate and have questions about what to do if you’re worried your spouse can’t handle the estate? Contact a Stillwater estate planning attorney at Murray Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.

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