There are many reasons you AND your spouse should have a Will; however, the importance is magnified in second marriages, especially if there are children from either party. I recently met with a young man who lost both his mother and stepfather.
Unfortunately, his mother died first followed some months later by his stepfather. His mother left a Will leaving everything to her spouse (his stepfather), and if he predeceased, to her son. At his mother’s death, since all her assets were jointly owned with her husband, all of her assets passed to him (the husband).
At the death of his stepfather, since the stepfather had no Will, his estate passed by the intestate laws of Florida. In his case, he had no children, his parents were deceased, he had no brothers or sisters and no nieces or nephews. The estate will have to search for heirs and the assets of the estate will likely pass to heirs with whom the stepfather had no contact.
The stepson will likely receive nothing.
All of this could have been prevented if the stepfather had taken the time to do a Will.
Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman Rice & Purtz has been helping clients for over 50 years with their estate planning needs. Contact us today so we can customize our estate planning services to your individual family’s specific needs.
By Stephen Buckley, Partner