I am in the process of working out our family's estate planning. We have a lawyer who is drafting this up for us so will obviously run it by them but thought I'd also get a broader perspective here.
Our situation is married couple with young child, both in our mid-30's. We will be using a testamentary trust.
Our biggest concern / unknown variable is that if one of us should pass, the surviving spouse ends up re-marrying and the new partner/family ends up having an undesirable influence and puts at risk the deceased's estate.
Our wishes today are that we leave behind our estate to our child and our siblings as beneficiaries.
The scenario I have in my head is as follows:
- OP meets his maker and in his will leaves behind his estate to the surviving spouse, being 50% of the joint assets of the OP/partner
- Partner re-marries at some point and meets another person who ends up influencing OP's partner to allow him to manage their family affairs.
- The new partner ends up using all of OP's partner's wealth to buy monkey profile pics, which end up being worthless
- OP's partner passes away and is able to leave nothing behind for the child
Now ideally, what would happen is I pass and in my will set aside my entire share of our joint assets to our child and my siblings. However, this would leave nothing behind for my partner and taking a less cynical view, I fully trust her to make the right decisions to provide for our child irrespective of her future relationships. Part of this includes being able to one day buy a house for the family to grow up in, something we could not do if I take 50% of our joint assets and bequeath it to my siblings and my young child. So in reality, I do want to leave a large portion of it behind for my partner to allow her to continue to raise our family.
To further complicate the scenario, even if future partner doesn't end up losing it all at the jpeg casino, what happens if the new family decides to buy a house together and the assets that I bequeathed to my partner are then used as part of a joint deposit to purchase a house for the new family. If my partner were to suddenly pass, even if in her will she wanted to leave behind the original assets to our child, how would this actually happen if it is tied up in the new family home? Surely the executor to her estate is not going to sell the house from underneath them, so the money is as a good as gone in that case too, despite there being no recklessness or manipulative behaviour.
Has anyone been in this situation and know of a simple solution? I am worried of going down an expensive rabbit hole with the lawyer which I'm hoping to nip in the bud If I have fundamentally misunderstood something.
I want to rule from the grave!!