My husband both have grown children from previous marriages. do we need seperate wills?

Asked over 1 year ago - Granite City, IL

wanting to know if we should make one will or two seperate wills

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You most likely should have separate will. The cost is minimal, especially when considering the peace of mind. Please consult with an estate planning or probate attorney who can advise you more fully.

  2. Wes Cowell

    Contributor Level 19

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This will probably be teh very first question to be answered by the attorney you meet with to prepare your will(s). If you don't want ot pay an attorney, and intend to prepare your will(s) yourselves using an online service, you can try asking them for advice, but I know of only one such service that employs attorneys to answer legal questions free-of-charge.

    You're probably better off meeting with an attorney face-to-face.

  3. Roger William Stelk

    Contributor Level 14

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should do separate wills and distribute your respective estates as you see fit. Keep in mind that jointly held assets will go to the survivor of you regardless of the will. You should consult an estate planning attorney to get more details and proper guidance.

  4. David A. Semmelman

    Contributor Level 6

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should have separate wills. A joint will can not be changed after the first spouse dies which could lead to unintended consequences if their is a change in ciircumstances.

  5. Christine Coffman Karr

    Contributor Level 11

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In my opinion, as an experienced estate planning attorney, you do need separate wills. Second marriages with children from previous marriages are problematic, and result frequently in contested estates and will contests.

    You need to consult with an estate planning attorney.

  6. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My questions would be-
    1 Do you own everything jointly?
    2 Do you want for the survivor to own everything?
    3 Do you have separate assets that you want to leave to your children?
    4 Do you have a pre-marital agreement?
    If I knew the answers to these questions-I could give you a great answer.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  7. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First of all...you need to meet with an attorney that specializes in estate planning. Your first question should not be joint or separate Wills. Your first question should be what kind of estate plan do we need to meet our objectives? In your situation, Wills may do relatively little and may not at all protect your children from prior marriages. A trust, or two separate trusts, may be a much better choice. But you need to review ALL of your facts with a qualified attorney to determine how best to proceed.

    Wills do not avoid probate. You also need to have durable power of attorney forms for health and financial matters.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more

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