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Slightly OT - Wills and Skids

CBCharlotte's picture

Hi Everyone, hope you're doing well. Do you all have a formal will for your SO, if the skids are his? Currently my SO does not. We have been together 3.5 years, and he has 4 kids with 2 ex wives. SD14 and SD11 with BM1 (who I like) and SS5 and SS4 with BM2 (who I don't). He has mentioned in passing that I am the beneficiary on everything he has. He was in the hospital with appendicitis and had some pretty major complications, so we ended up talking about it. He said "Well, I put you as the beneficiary for everything because I trust you'll take care of everything". I am glad he trusts me, but I am not happy that there is nothing formal.

I've been pressuring him to make a formal will saying how he wants the money doled out. Has anyone used legal zoom? Or should we use an estate lawyer? Got forbid if anything happened to him, I would certainly be fair and make sure the kids were taken care of. My fear is that BM2 especially would try taking me to court for more money or accuse me of things like stealing from her and her children. If anything were to happen, I would set up trusts for the kids that she couldn't touch, which I'm sure would piss her off.

Any advice? I want him to set it up like SD14 gets X, SD11 gets X, SS5 gets Y in a trust accessible when he is 16 and Z in a trust accessible when he is 18, and SS4 gets Y in a trust accessible when he is 16 and Z in a trust accessible when he is 18. And of course leave some to me to pay off the house, take care of his funeral expenses, my future, etc. Pay off any debts.

I have no idea how this stuff works...I am 27 and don't have much of an "estate" besides my 401K and Roth IRA, to which he is the beneficiary.

Really just looking for advice on any wording or provisions we should use. I love all of his kids and we get along wonderfully, and I really like BM1. BM2 I tolerate.

Willow2010's picture

If you are in the US, as wife I think you get everything if there is no will
No maam. I know in Texas...if DH has not specified me in his will...his son will get it. Or at least half.

kathc's picture

You absolutely need to get him to write up a formal will. Otherwise, EVERYTHING he has will automatically go to the kids, their moms will most likely end up controlling things if they are under 18.

AllySkoo's picture

We used a lawyer, because it got complicated when we had kids together. I think it cost about $300, it's not terribly expensive. Since you don't have kids together yet, I think you'd be OK using some generic form (Staples has them!). Once you have bios together though, get an estate lawyer. The last thing you want is YOUR assets being split between your bios and steps! (If you guys were in a car crash, for example, and you died at the scene and he died at the hospital, your will gets executed first. So if you leave everything to him, and then his will divides his assets equally among his 5 children, that would include everything you left to him as well, effectively gypping your child out of his or her rightful inheritance.)

Besides, what if that happened NOW? He leaves everything to you, you don't have a will, you guys die together.... so what happens to the money? (You know it's taxed at a higher percent if there's no will? So you need one too.) BOTH of you should absolutely do a simple will now, and get an estate lawyer once you've got bios together.

Calypso1977's picture

what does his divorce agreement say?

i know here in MA, my fiance had to agree to name BM on his life insurance until CS stops, adn she also had to take a policy out with him as beneficiary in the event he gets the kid full time if she dies (and of course if she's dead, there'd be no CS coming in).

he has me named as his beneficiary on other accounts. he has no will but we feel we are covered for now and have no joint assets or anything like that.

Orange County Ca's picture

You both need a Living Trust. Two of them can be created by a inexpensive trust attorney for under a thousand dollars including transferring of deeds and such. Google: living trust.

If you like what you read find a trust mill in the yellow pages, they're so simple and effective you don't need a high priced attorney. There may be web sites that can help.

Calypso1977's picture

oh, and i agree on minor kids inheriting money.

if a child under 18 inherits money, the court has to appoint a guardian. usually the guardian is the parent.

so any money left to the kids will ultimately be controlled by the mother. this is why my fiance has not named his daughter as beneficiary on anything becuase he doesnt want BM to get it.

he also feels that by the time CS ends for SD13, he will have paid well over $100K. he believes that is the money that SD should "inherit", particularly since he offered to place 1/2 of the CS into a trust fund for her which BM refused to agree to (she lives for free so she doesnt need the full amount to live on).

ladyhutch's picture

You should get an estate lawyer if he has a lot of estate. I recently did my will with one as I own property and have life insurance, retirement and savings. I also have heirlooms and jewelry. I wanted to be 100% positive my SD gets absolutely NOTHING. I made allotments for my children, and my stepsons, as they have been good kids to me and I feel love for them like my own. But I wanted to be positive of a few things:

-SD gets NOTHING. Not even to look at or touch my heirlooms, which she covets. No money, no gifts, nothing but a letter.
-My children are not raised by SKs BM should DH ever decide to go back to her. I like her, but I do not want my children raised by her or with SD in the household. If he chooses to do this, he forfeits all rights to my estate, and all funds allotted to him go to my family to fight for custody. I don't believe he would do this, but wanted reassurance just in case.
-Majority funds go to my children, with nominal gifts to stepsons.
-I included a letter to SD that I wanted to have read publicly at my estate finalization, in presence of her parents.
-I named my husband as trustee of the estate for our minor children and my sister as trustee for my adopted son (if needed)

I did all this because I am having a difficult pregnancy and want to be sure my bases are covered. I got a lawyer to be sure trusts are handled appropriately and because I have a decently sized estate.