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SKs, wills & leaving your own legacy

ambrok's picture

Before I married in my 40s, I had some of my own assets.  At the time, my will stated everything should be split between my siblings (or their child/ren if a sibling passed).
My husband didn't have financial assets; but I gained my SS Smile
If either my DH or I become a widow, we agreed the widow would get 100% & essentially if I pass away 1st, my DH could then will 100% to my SS then...I'm fine with this/that feels right.
But...if we pass away together, my DH believes 100% should still go to my SS.  Now, say the estate was only enough for a downpayment on a house, I'm fine with that.  But if the estate were closer to $500k...my gut wants to leave something to my siblings, also (ie 50% to SS & 50% to be split amongest my siblings...there are 10 of them-no one will feel like they won the jackpot or be compariable to what SS would get).
Now if my DH were to pass away 1st, I would def include my SS in my will & would probably do the 50-50 between him n my siblings again (if there was a lot of $...else everything to my SS).
Does anyone else have conflicting feelings about wills & SKs...what are your thoughts?  I question why I'm OK if my DH left 100% to SS, if I passed 1st; but otherwise I'm not?!?  My husband asked if any of my siblings are leaving me anything (my guess is not, as they all have bio child/ren).
The more I think about this...maybe what I truly want is a legacy of some sort (cremations in a river with park bench placed as a memorial/kept maintained & perhaps a fund where the interest could pay for an annual family picnic/weekend camp rental).  Maybe it's not about the $ afterall; but about a legacy or some place where family/friends could come n talk to 'me'/not forget me?!?
Anyone else in a similar situation...what are your thoughts on SKs & wills?

ESMOD's picture

A lawyer should be able to help you craft something that would meet your needs.

Do you still have assets "in your own name".. or have you comingled everything into joint marital accounts/assets?

Maybe an trust would be a good option where your assets are managed and available for your DH's needs but any remaining would be distributed per your wishes at his passing?  The trust could even pay out a percent per year to your family as a rememberance or something.

the die together thing can be addressed in the will.. there can be language that establishes an order of death if it happens at the same time... 

tog redux's picture

I also have no kids and married DH in my 40s, he has one son.  We made wills when SS21 was younger (10 years ago) and we decided as you did, that we'd leave everything to each other, with 75% of what was left when the last of us died to SS and the other 25% to my 5 nieces/nephew. 

Welp, back then, SS was a decent kid, but thanks to BM he was alienated for years and has turned into a giant man-baby Failure to Launch mess, still living with BM and doing very little with his life. He speaks to DH again, but it's very superficial. I'm likely to live longer, but if not, he's free to do as he pleases - it won't be a fortune. 

So I asked DH recently if he was okay if we changed the wills, or at the very least, if he'd give me permission now to change it in the future - I'd like to split it 10 equal ways, between SS and our collective nieces and nephews. He's okay with that, he no longer wants to leave so much to SS either. 

Maybe SS will change as he gets older and I'll feel differently, we'll see.

ambrok's picture

I hear you!
I love my SS & we have a respectful; however not necessarily a close relationship.  I am concerned because as a young man, he is following his BM's lifestyle (not interested in getting a driver's license, never had a job, barely graduating high school, etc).  Upon our deaths, I would like to require him to take a personal finance course & seeking a couple appointments with a CFP before $ is transfered.  Other than that, my feeling is that I can't control what he does/doesn't do with the money/financial opportunity.  At some point, I have to remember he's now an adult & needs to be responsible for his own actions...as much as I don't want the estate to be 'wasted'...
Things change...perhaps I'll feel differently at some point; but like you, I think it's a good idea for everyone to review their will every few years.

tog redux's picture

My SS just got his license 3 weeks ago, has never held a job, and has grand and ridiculous plans for his future.

He lied in court repeatedly about DH, I don't feel like giving him more than I give our nieces and nephews, who are decent human beings that treat us well. 

notarelative's picture

I'd suggest you see a lawyer to discuss what you want to do. It will be easier if you have some separate assets. If it were I, I'd go for a visit by myself once and fully understand what the options are. 

We married when all the kids (2 mine 2 his) were adults and kept our premarital assets separate so it was much easier. Only the assets we have together will be divided betwen all the kids, but I don't expect there to be left as we agree the survivor should spend them before separate assets. (they will probably be spent on medical and/or nursing home)

Rags's picture

A Will is not a tit for tat thing where relatives recieve only if they give you something in their own Will.

That said, certainly how a relative or friends behaves in life should be addressed in a Will.

In our case, my DW and I are each other's sole heir and beneficiary.  In the event of our co-demise it all goes to our son (my SS-28) who was 15mos old when his mom and I met and started dating (we married the week before he turned 2yo).  It goes into trust for him (admininstered either by my dad or my brother) until he either completes a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or... turns 40 whichever is first.

If I go first my wife in all probabiity will leave our estate to our son upon her demise.  

If she goes first, I will do the same... unless.... I remarry. In which case I will provide for my mate in my Will while laving my son half upon my demise and the rest which will be held in trust for the support of my mate until her demise.  At which point the supporting trust will release to my son.

Hopefully my DW and I will have another few decades together before having to address one or the other of us departing this mortal toil.  Our son will in all liklihood never need our estate but... we certainly want him to have it when we are gone.  Whatever may be left at that point.  My DW was 16 when our son was born so, like me, he will likly be the only resident in his retirement home that has a daily chore list from his mom.  My mom was young when she and dad married (17) and she was barely 19 when I was born.  I will have the retirement home chore list from my mom.  I have little doubt. Women in my mom's family have all made it to 90+.

Tried out's picture

about a delayed receipt of a legacy without earning a BA. A friend of mine whose son received a no-strings trust and it led to major underachievement of a smart kid. She refers to her son as a "victim of a trust fund." If it were me, I'd attach another requirement - BA plus age 25. Most 21 year olds are just too damn young to handle a respectable inheritance.

CajunMom's picture

DH's side is extremely High Conflict and I have a great talent of looking into the future at "what could be" based on our personal interactions and those of friends who've gone through the "death and will" stuff (and a few with no wills...OMG!). I was adament about 5 years ago that this all get FIXED legally for both of us to have peace when the other passes.

DH and I have done wills, POAs for medical, personal POAs on each other (left on file at attorney's office), executors for each of us, Living Wills, Burial policies paid in full with exactly what we want. Our wills are set up similar to what you have but we also included what's to happen if we die together (ie, car accident), which is a equal split between kids. While I DO have children, I can assure you that, if I didn't, I would want some of OUR estate to go to my family.

Again, I clearly see your desire to leave something behind to your siblings and their kids. I'd sure want that. Best to you!

The_Upgrade's picture

If you brought assets into the marriage and your DH brought nothing then I think it's not unreasonable to allocate some premarital assets to your family. Up to you to decide if marrying someone who had a child with someone else means your family misses out and that child can take everything. My DH's ex is extremely high conflict and his estranged daughter has taken after her mother. I've left enough for DH to live extremely comfortably if an accident were to happen to me but the bulk of my estate will be held in trust for our DD. That whole "what's yours is mine, and mine is yours" stuff only works in a first family situation, no steps and no toxic family members.