Estate Planning Attorney

May 2015 Newsletter

Buck Law Group Blog

             "A probate lawyers perspective"

April 2015 Newsletter

March 2015 Newsletter 

Estate Planning in a Second Marriage

Life happens. A second marriage is often met with its share of trials and tribulations especially when there are children from previous relationships. There is often a desire to adequately provide for your current spouse in the event of your demise but also try to assure that assets ultimately go to your children or other beneficiaries. My first evaluation is always of the family dynamics and what are the ultimate goals of the client. These goals can effect the titling of assets, beneficiary designations, the need for a Living Trust, choice of power of attorney, personal representative etc..

Once primary goals are established, it is necessary to take a good look at exactly what assets exactly there are involved, who’s they are, how they are currently titled, are there POD(pay on death) beneficiary designations on all accounts?, etc..

A review of assets can be tricky. Often one spouse has brought more to the table financially than the other, often from a prior relationship or from personal funds. This person naturally quite often wants those assets to pass to their family upon their passing or they may wish to give their spouse some lifetime interest in the asset with the remainder passing to their family.

Example: Bob and Mary get married, it is a second marriage for both, both Bob and Mary have two children each making four children in total. Bob has a home that is paid for and a good pension and some certificates of deposit. Mary has social security income and a small savings account. Mary moves into Bobs home and they share family resources to maintain everyday life. Bob has expressed a desire to Mary that he would like to have Mary stay in the home the rest of her life, if something should happen to Bob but that the home would ultimately go to Bob’s two children upon Mary’s passing (as the home was purchased during his previous marriage and was the childhood home of his now grown children). This is very common and is called a “Life Estate Interest”, Mary would not own the home but would have a life estate interest meaning that she could live there for the remainder of her life but would not have the ability to sell the home. As to bank accounts, Bob has expressed a desire that all bank accounts go to Mary, if she outlives him, but Mary would like her small savings account to go to her two children immediately upon her passing, regardless of whether Bob has passed, as Bob’s financial standing is good and he would not need the extra monies. This is often easily accomplished through the proper titling of assets and the proper designation of POD beneficiaries on financial accounts!

The above examples are common scenarios but there are countless other scenarios. This is why a consultation with a licensed Florida attorney to review the particulars of your family’s estate planning needs, is especially important where there are second marriages and children involved.

David A. Buck,
Buck Law Group, P.A.
Member of the Florida Bar since 1996

The contents of this Article are intended for general informational purposes only and are not intended for specific application to any particular set of facts and circumstances. This Article is not a substitute for legal counsel on any particular matter, nor should it be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Meeting with your Estate Planning Attorney and what you should know

Over the years I have met with thousands of Clients to review their estate planning needs. Many people know they need to make estate plans but often delay scheduling an estate planning consultation for months, years or even until it’s too late.

Most people are not aware how relatively easy it is in Florida to avoid most probate situations with some basic estate planning. The first step is to meet with your estate planning attorney to create or perhaps update an older estate plan. To prepare for that meeting here are a few basic things that you can do ahead of time.

1. Assets: Have a very good working knowledge of all of your assets, bank accounts, investments, real estate, etc. Also you should review how each financial account is titled(single or joint) and is there any “pay on death” beneficiaries designated on the accounts, if so, who?.

2. Who do you want to be in charge: Know which persons that are closest to you and who you would want to perform certain duties upon either your mental/physical incapacity or passing. Who would you want to deal with your doctors and managing your finances if you became incapacitated, or who would you want to administer your estate if you passed away.

Ideally you should have a first choice and a second alternative choice for “power of attorney” and “personal representative”.

3. Who gets what: How much do I leave to my children and/or grandchildren? This is a question only you can answer. Keeping in mind that other than your spouse, you are not obligated to leave any family member anything and are free to leave your estate to who ever you want in any share that you want.

It is also very important to leave written instructions regarding any family heirlooms, such as jewelry or furniture that you wish to go to specific persons.​

Please feel free to contact me or my office with any questions pertaining to any information in this article or to schedule a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.

David A. Buck,
Buck Law Group, P.A.
Member of the Florida Bar since 1996


​The contents of this Article are intended for general informational purposes only and are not intended for specific application to any particular set of facts and circumstances. This Article is not a substitute for legal counsel on any particular matter, nor should it be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.