Skip to main content

This is my second marriage and my husbands also. We both have 3 ea. children. Everything we own is in our name. We have no will.

Wytheville, VA |
Attorney answers 3


Let me put it to you another way. If you die first, he gets everything and does not have a legal obligation to give your kids anything at his death. If he dies intestate, then your family gets nothing at his second death. The point here is that joint tenancy is a bad deal to the first spouse to die's family. If you have any significant assets or just want to have a fair solution you need to get with an estates attorney to discuss the details and your respective goals. In fact, you may need separate attorneys if there is a lot at stake here or if there are any conflicts of interest that the attorney sees.

Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.
Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is . For further tax advice check out his website at . and his blog at >

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


If you own everything jointly (in both names), should you predecease your husband, he will own everything. At his death his Will will determine where everything goes, (presumably to his kids, not yours). If he has no kids, his property will go to his heirs by intestacy (generally follow the blood line). Once again you kids likely won't receive anything.

Many "blended families" establish trusts. At the first death the trust provides for the surviving spouse. Many times the surviving spouse can have broad use and control, of the deceased spouse's assets, but he the survivor does not own them. Because the 1st spouse's assets remain in the trust, she can assure what is left will provide for her children.

If your concern regards loosing your assets to your husband's children while you are alive, how you title things is again, critical. Many joint accounts allow either joint owner to withdraw 100% of the account, without the other joint owner's permission. If your step children had a power of attorney over their father's assets it is possible (although perhaps unlikely) that the person holding the power of attorney could completely drain a joint account.

I generally recommend that any couple in a "blended family" family, regardless of the size of the estate, seek advice from an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

One last thing, be honest with your attorney about your concerns.


The prior posts offer very sound advice. If you have concerns about how your assets will be distributed upon one of your passings, you should really contact an estate planning attorney near you to discuss the planning options that make sense for a second marriage blended family. Based upon the many dynamics in play, oftentimes revocable living trusts provide the greatest protections to ensure each spouse's planning objectives are met (including providing for one another's children from the first marriage).

The comment provided above is intended as general information and IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. If your question concerns an Estate Planning, Elder Law, or Long Term Care Planning matter governed by the laws of the State of North Carolina, please contact me for personalized service. (910) 762-1577.