Your opinion on how to divide estate in will
Just asking for several people to post their opinion on this subject.
My DH and I married 3 years ago. We each have contributed equal amounts of money to the marriage in the past 3 years. DH brought with him an airplane(not an expensive one, alot of new cars would be priced higher), his retirement fund, a few college loans for his kids, a beater car and personal belongings. I brought my home (which I paid off 1 year after we married), my new car, my retirement fund, 1 college loan for my son, and my personal belongings. We both contribute about the same amount financially to the marriage (he works more hours than I do, and makes more, but has to pay alimony).
I've heard it said that whatever is brought into the marriage should stay in the family of the person who brought it into the marriage. What I mean is, for example, if DH dies, his retirement fund, belongings, and airplane (and college loans) go to his 3 kids divided equally. If I die, my house, retirement fund, (and college loan) and belongings go to my 3 kids to be divided equally.
I've also heard it said that the above is wrong, everything should go to the remaining spouse. Then when that remaining spouse dies, everything should be divided up between all 6 children equally.
Another option I've heard is that for example if I would die, the house would go to my 3 children, with a clause that my DH would be able to live in the house as long as he needs it (or until his death). My Aunt had everything of hers set up this way. She remarried late in life to a man who was wonderful to her, they had 15 years of marriage. She died about 12 years ago, he is in his late 90's and still living in her house, but when he passes, it goes back to the children of my Aunt.
What do some of you have set up? Very curious. We don't have a will because we cannot decide what is fair. We've talked to our financial planner, and he really tells us that we have to decide. I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, but then nobody really does. Not trying to be morbid, just wonder what others in this boat would do.
Since his children have little regard for me, I would turn over in my grave to think that my house would be sold and a portion given to them. They did not grow up in this house, it is not home to them. My 3 kids were all raised from birth in this house. If anything happened to me, my husband doesn't have a house, and I think it should be his as long as he needs it.
And what about life insurance policies and retirement funds? If something happened to me, I think I might in later years need at least some of his retirement money to live on, and the same would go for him if I died. The idea is that the retirement fund is set up for OUR retirement, not as something to pass on to the kids. We are planning on enjoying retirement together, if one prematurely dies, it doesn't seem fair that it should go to the kids. But then it doesn't seem fair to leave the kids completely out either.
My DH paid for college for his kids, and this was a good financial start in their adult life. This was at least $40000 for each kids. None of my kids wanted to go to college (except DS23 went for 1 year). I feel that at an appropriate time, I would like to do something financially for them (like maybe help out with a downpayment on a house), since I didn't have the burden of college for them.
I don't want to give them cash in exchange for college. But I don't feel that it is alright to help the ones who go to college, and the ones who don't go to college get nothing. When I've talked to my older 2 kids about this, they thank me for my thoughts, and tell me that they're proud to be able to make it on their own, and aren't looking for handouts. They are not greedy. I asked them if DH and I were killed in a car accident and the house was sold and divided 6 ways how they would feel about it. They said they would feel that was unfair, because my DH didn't pay for the house, and it was the house they were raised in.
My father died 5 years ago and left my 75 year old mother with $500,000. I haven't seen any of it, not saying that I should, but my Dad told me that he was leaving a 40 acre parcel of land to me. My Mother doesn't know that he told me this before he died. Oh well, I'm not counting on anything. My Mom will live another 15 years and will need it to live on herself.
On more thought. It gets complicated. My DH is quite a handyman, and is always doing upkeep and improvements on our house. I do them with him, I do alot my self to upgrade our house. He feels like it isn't fair to him for him to live here and maintain the house for years, then if I die, it goes to the kids, and he reaps no rewards for his efforts. In some ways, one could look at it like, he hadn't married me, that he would be either paying rent or a mortgage himself for these past 3 years. That should be worth something. He hasn't had to worry about it since he moved in here.
Your thoughts please.