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Rule of thumb for leaving money/retirement/property - second marriage


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I've got 3 kids (youngest 30) and she's got 3 kids (youngest 20), we're talking about getting Married and I wanted to know if there's a rule of thumb for leaving money/retirement/property etc.

Neither one of us own any property at the moment. I will have a decent retirement in a couple years, she doesn't have a retirement but her Dad will leave her a small inheritance. My retirement system doesn't recommend leaving your retirement to your kids because of the cost. To leave her my retirement, it would cost about $300 per month off of my unmodified benefit vs about $900 off of my unmodified benefit for my kids.

We're thinking about buying a house together in the very near future. The easiest way would be to leave my kids my half of the house, but that would force her to have to move at that time which would be a major pain.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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Get a life insurance policy on yourself for your kids You both will have to get one for the mortgage too. Your partner can renew a mortgage by using your pension as collateral to pay the half value of the house owed to your kids. Get a will/prenup made up. Your bank will work with you in the financial planning without having to go through too much with a lawyer to give you an idea in how to work this.

Note: have her pay for your policy for the kids since she will be receiving your pension as compensation.

Edited by smackie9
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2 hours ago, ocman said:

I've got 3 kids (youngest 30) and she's got 3 kids (youngest 20), we're talking about getting Married and I wanted to know if there's a rule of thumb for leaving money/retirement/property etc.

Have you spoken to an estate attorney and CPA? If you remarry you'll need to designate your beneficiaries as well as have a will in place. 

You'll also need to leave a certain portion to a surviving spouse, (depending on what state you live in) or they can contest your will. 

You can also put your home in a trust in your kids names, or entirely in their names. That way no inheritance tax and no possibility of it going where you don't want it to. You can stipulate that she remain in the house until death.

Edited by Wiseman2
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On 12/26/2020 at 4:30 PM, catfeeder said:

Every person on a public worldwide forum is operating under unique benefits and laws for their location. That's why hiring a local attorney or legal service for advice is your best bet.

Precisely, Cat.  OP, It is vital you consult a good lawyer who will advise you appropriately. 

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1 hour ago, ocman said:

I realize hiring an attorney is the way to go, maybe I wasn't clear.

I wanted to know in my situation, is there a rule of thumb on what percentage should I leave to my kids vs new wife (if that happens).

There are too many variables to consider.  Consider the likelihood of a catastrophic illness, the cost and the care that requires.  Who's responsibility?   The reality is we will all need long term care of some sort.  The majority of us don't die in our sleep like in the movies.  If you aren't insured then the responsibility is on the spouse or the astronomical cost of paying for care. 

So now you've left a percentage to your healthy, vital children.  You are gone.  She took care of you in your final moments and can she still afford the home you both lived in? 

Don't mean to be dark . .but there you go.  I've watched this play out.

I hope you'll report back with what you come up with.   3 1/2 yr into a relationship and tho we are in no hurry. . .it's these things that keep me awake at night.  I honestly don't know how to make it fair and secure for both.

Edited by reinventmyself
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