There are numerous ways to protect an inheritance for children from a previous marriage, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "Protecting Your Children's Inheritance After Remarriage."
If you pass away without a will, the general result is your closest living relative receives your estate, which means that if you are married, your spouse gets everything.
This can be a problem if you have children from a previous relationship, since your spouse is not required to preserve anything that he or she inherits and give it to the children.
However, there are some ways to protect the children from a previous relationship including:
- Get a prenuptial agreement before you get remarried. In a prenuptial agreement, you and your future spouse can agree that some of your assets will go to your children after you pass away.
- Create a trust that allows your spouse to use some of your assets while he or she is alive and that gives the remainder of the assets to your children after your spouse passes away.
- Name your children as beneficiaries of your retirement accounts or life insurance policies.
- Create a will that gives specific bequests to your children.
- Give your children gifts, while you are still alive.
An estate planning attorney can guide you in creating an estate plan that meets your unique circumstances, including protecting an inheritance for children from a previous relationship.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog "Protecting Your Children's Inheritance After Remarriage."