One issue that often goes overlooked with the documents created by Jacksonville estate planning lawyers is remarriage protection. Remarriage protections are provisions in revocable and irrevocable trusts to ensure an estate plan can be carried out even if the surviving spouse remarries. After all no clients like the thought of everything ending up going to the children of the surviving spouse's future spouse instead of your children or family.
Each spouse may bring different assets into the marriage, and further, they may also have different estate-planning objectives. These objectives and unique circumstances are why we recommend that spouses talk to each other and their Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorney about their estate plans before designing a trust together. Trusts can help to facilitate the distribution of assets by detailing what each beneficiary receives. However, a common issue is how the trust’s assets should be distributed if the surviving spouse remarries?
If the surviving spouse remarries, he or she may no longer need the trust assets and wish for other relatives to receive the benefits instead. Further, the new spouse may want to avoid trust distributions because it could place the couple in a higher tax bracket. These are two of the reasons why we highly recommend all our clients to consider putting remarriage protections within the trust.Designing a Trust in Florida with Remarriage Protection in Mind
Most trusts are not designed with many remarriage protections. A trust can have a general protection of permitting the trustee to discontinue payments of interest or payment to the surviving spouse if he or she remarries. Trusts typically do not offer much protection beyond this provision.
The best options go way beyond this type of simple clause. Our Estate Planning attorneys in Jacksonville can provide further protection beyond the standard trust provisions. The Law Office of David Goldman's attorneys take great strides in designing and tracking our client’s data. We track all of the benefits a client gives to his surviving spouse through a trust, as well as any authority that is given to the spouse through a trust.
The trusts we create are also special because we can offer our clients the ability to customize their trusts to a very fine detail. For instance, a client can identify and define what they consider “remarriage” in the trust. The default language used in a many of our trusts is that a spouse will be deemed remarried after cohabiting for one night so that even if there is just a co-habitation, the provisions are implemented. This definition can protect the kids regardless of who is the surviving spouse.
Clients are allowed to customize language, like the definition of remarriage, to their personal definition. Once a surviving spouse meets this definition, the trust document can modify or eliminate any of the surviving spouse’s powers or benefits.
A good example of remarriage power is when the surviving spouse is the trustee. Many of the top Estate Planning Attorneys in Jacksonville can design a trust to remove the surviving spouse as trustee when the client’s definition of remarriage is triggered.
Our Estate Planning Law Firm has a long history of protecting assets along with estate planning. The Jacksonville Asset Protection Attorneys can help to identify what benefits a surviving spouse may receive during their lifetime. Once these benefits have been identified, then the trust’s creator can choose whether he or she wants to eliminate, modify, or remove these benefits if the surviving spouse remarries. Often this is done to protect the kids because of how Florida Law works. Without these types of provisions, it is possible to loose 30%, 50% or all of the assets to the family of the person your surviving spouse marries.
Every revocable or irrevocable trust can be designed around the needs of the client and their family. A well written Florida trust should be a tool that reflects the intentions of the client. No single trust works for everyone nor will it have the same results. This is why simple, online, or fill in the blank forms have problems. For more information on how to design a trust with remarriage protections contact our Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyers Today or call our office at 904-685-1200.