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What will I be able to leave my adult children from a prior marriage when I die? What difference will it make if I make a WILL?

Doral, FL |

I was thinking of making a WILL but I am not sure what for. I married my 2nd husband late in life in my 50's. We each have 2 adult children from separate marriages. He is a Doctor with his own practice and I don't work anymore. We are both in our 70s and he has no intention of retiring. His practice is only in his name - he started it shortly before we got married (he was a DR in Cuba before he became a DR here). We lease our cars. We have a house that is owned as husband and wife. Our bank accounts have both our names on them and that pretty much sums up our assets. I WANT TO LEAVE MY TWO SONS SOMETHING WHEN I DIE BUT I'M NOT SURE WHAT I CAN LEAVE THEM. IF I MAKE A WILL CAN I LEAVE THEM MY HALF OF THE HOME? 1/2 the Bank Accts? 1/2 the Business? I am concerned my sons will be left w/zero

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Attorney answers 4


You can leave them anything you own at time of death which would be everything if you are second to die except for your husband's practice.
If you die first-your husband could direct the estate to his children.
You could do a post marital agreement and make an agreement as to how the estate will be divided.

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.


This is not an unusual circumstance for second-marriages. You should seek the advice of a good trusts and estates attorney about setting up a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust. This will allow each of the spouses to identify what property they want their children to get after they are both deceased, while providing for the surviving spouse during their remaining lifetime. Regardless of whether your husband's practice is in his name, unless you have a pre-nup stating otherwise, it is still an asset of the marriage. Get legal advice as to the best way to proceed.


I agree with Attorneys Pippen and Johnson. With a properly drafted will and revocable trust, you can provide for your husband during his lifetime (if he survives you) and then have the remaining assets pass to your sons. Note that titling of your assets and the beneficiary designations for your contract assets will also be critical components of your estate planning. Accordingly, please retain an experienced estate planning lawyer to provide you with the assistance you need. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


If you do not have a will at your passing, Florida law will determine how your assets will be distributed. You will be deemed to have died "intestate." Under the Florida intestacy law, if you die without a will and you have adult children from a prior marriage, your assets will be distributed as follows: one-half to your spouse and one-half to your children (to be split between them). However, this law only applies to assets that you own in your own name, not to those assets you own jointly with someone else (for example, your spouse). You should consult an experienced estate planning attorney to get help in accomplishing your goals.

The answer provided to the question does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.