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.
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 action is to have legal representation in this matter.
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.
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.
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I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration.
I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer.
Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!
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.