Estate Planning for Blended Families

Tip – Planning for your spouse and children in a second marriage.

Question: What happens after a second marriage if you die without a will or trust
in place?

Answer: Under Idaho Code § 15-2-102 your half of the community property (property you acquire during your marriage to your spouse) would pass to your surviving spouse and one-half of your separate property (property you bring into your marriage or receive as a gift) would pass to your spouse and one-half would pass to your children.

In addition, Idaho Code § 15-2-402 and Idaho Code § 15-2-403 provides that your surviving spouse may be entitled to a Homestead allowance of $50,000 and an Exempt property allowance of $10,000 respectively. These allowances can be taken by your spouse from property in your estate before any distributions are made to the persons you have designated in your will to receive your property.

You can see that in a second marriage, if you do not have a will or trust, the bulk of your estate could go to your spouse, and not to your children. Rather than letting the laws of the state determine how your estate is distributed, it makes sense to have an estate plan to distribute your property to whom you want it to go.

No matter who you decide to leave your property to, you need to make sure your wishes are clear and binding. Avoiding the misunderstandings and fights that can come from a lack of planning is maybe the best gift you can give your spouse and children.

View our “Senior’s Guide to a Well-Planned Future” on our website! Packer Elder Care Law – with you for life!

Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.

December 2023