Tonight’s Event in Burke (space still available) and “Ask the Expert”

Join us tonight at 7 – 8 p.m. at Burke Centre Library for a “Long-Term Care Seminar”

Space still available. Call us at 703-691-1888 to register.

Burke Centre Library 5935 Freds Oak Road Burke, VA 22015
At this event about Long Term Care, you will:

  • Learn what the most important estate planning document is, and find out whether yours is up-to-date!
  • Find out if your Will is sufficient to meet your needs, or if a Trust is a better instrument for you!
  • Find out how you can protect your assets from lawsuits, divorce, and long-term care creditors!
  • Discover the important government benefits you or a loved one may want to qualify for in order to help pay for future long-term care expenses, including Medicaid and Veterans Aid & Attendance.

Presented by Evan H. Farr, CELA, principal attorney at Farr Law Firm, P.C. in Fairfax, VA.


Ask the Expert- Prenup and Estate Planning for a Second Marriage

Submit your question.

Q: I am a 60 year old widow who is getting remarried in the spring.  My fiancé and I are both in good health, and have adult children from previous marriages.  We live in a home we purchased together last year.  We heard it is a good idea to have a prenup for a second marriage. Would you recommend it and what type of estate planning do you suggest?

A. Congratulations to you and your fiancé on your upcoming nuptials!

In your situation, and for anyone entering into a second (or subsequent) marriage, I strongly recommend a premarital agreement.  Many people mistakenly think of a premarital agreement as only dealing with what happens in the event of a divorce. However, the most important reason for a premarital agreement is to determine how your estate will be distributed when “death does you part,” i.e., when the first spouse dies during the marriage.  Most parents want to eventually leave some or all of their assets to their children, yet in a second marriage most people also want to ensure that the surviving spouse remains financially stable.  If you simply leave everything to your surviving spouse, there is a very good chance that your surviving spouse will not leave anything to YOUR children.  A premarital agreement, along with using properly-established trusts, is the way to avoid this problem. 

Even if you have already completed an estate plan of your own, a new marriage almost always calls for significant changes to your plan.  A typical arrangement is that both spouses put their premarital assets into a trust. Upon the death of the first spouse, the assets of that spouse are held in trust for the use of the surviving spouse and then, upon the death of the surviving spouse, the remaining assets are distributed to the children of the spouse who died first.

Although both parties to a new marriage have the right to hire separate attorneys in connection with creation of a premarital agreement, many couples prefer to go through this process together, via mediation, in order to minimize the expense and avoid the adversarial nature of being represented by two separate attorneys. The advantages of having two separate attorneys is that both parties both receive completely independent, private, and confidential advice.  By going through mediation in an effort to develop a written agreement and estate plan, you will be giving up these advantages.  If you choose mediation, the purpose of the mediation will be to attempt to arrive, in a cooperative and informal manner, at a mutually acceptable agreement that resolves all financial and legal issues that may arise in connection with your upcoming marriage, your existing marriage, or your co-ownership of property.

If you aren’t able to complete your planning before you get married, you should consider a marital contract, also called a post-nuptial agreement.  Like the premarital contract, a marital contract can be essential for remarried couples with children from different relationships.

I am a trained mediator and am available to mediate premarital and marital contracts with couples planning to enter into a second or subsequent marriages, with a goal of preparing the agreement and then doing the subsequent estate planning for the couple. 

As far as estate planning suggestions for your situation, either a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) or The Living Trust PlusTM may be a good option, but it is difficult to assess without meeting you and your fiancé and discussing your situation in detail.

In a nutshell, a Revocable Living Trust will enable you and your fiancé to have full use of the trust income and principal for life. Upon death, the assets may continue to be held in trust or distributed for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. The Living Trust PlusTM functions very similarly to the RLT, but it protects your assets from the expenses and difficulties of probate PLUS lawsuits PLUS long-term care while you’re alive. You can read more about these and other estate planning strategies on The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website.

Please call us at 703-691-1888 to set up a time for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.