Remarriage/steps too complicated/update

CatnippedJune 8, 2012

Had I known how complicated remarriage and having steps were?I'd have just opted to live with my DH.It is truly not worth the hassle.We finally had our attorney appointment and it made me realize I should have educated myself better on not only the emotional aspect but also the legal before marriage or purchasing a home together.

I found out today my DH or I either one own our lives really or future.The stepchildren do(my child included).

My DH nor I really own our home,the kids do,lol.Even a trust is not a good option.Everything(pictures,family heirlooms,your underwear...everything)has to be rolled into the trust as a free for all for the kids to decide who wants what as far as the items in your home.Yes,the steps will also help decide what of yours they want(for keeping,selling or throwing in the trash)even if it was your great granny's diamond ring or family photos.You can not have a trust and a will on the side for personal effects that have nothing to do with your spouse or stepkids.

And if you want to live in your house till death you must co own with the steps and sell only if the steps AND their spouses agree to it(this is where I have a problem on both sides as far as the step-spouses).

So the step SIL/DIL'S own you too.If one of them OR their spouses want to be difficult you are in limbo.You are stuck until you are dead even if your name is on the deed.

No selling,no renting,just living.Even if it comes to the point you have to move due to age or illness.They must give permission.Oh and if they are faced with a lawsuit,go bankrupt or get are out of luck even having lifetime access.Bye,bye home.

Unless you have minor children together-you are up $$$ creek without a proper paddle.Renting would have been the better choice.

Anyone thinking about remarrying with children from previous marriages need to find out their state laws and ALSO talk with an attorney BEFORE remarrying let alone buying real estate together.

Just thought I would give update.It's sad some states put people through this because they have no children together.

The sad thing is,I want all of them to get their share. The only things I did not want them to have?Is control of me,my life decisions for myself only or my personal effects and private belongings.

So now there are difficult decisions to be made and I'm not sure my marriage will survive it.DH stated at the appointment his favored child will come save the day and take care of all for everyone involved.I feel like I could vomit.DH doesn't fully realize he is in the same position I am.It's not hit him yet.

Think long and hard,singles BEFORE taking the plunge!

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I know laws vary by state but I find this to be really strange. Does it have anything to do with one of you owning the house before you married? My DH died several months ago & in going through Probate it was necessary for the attorney to send his kids a copy of the will & a consent form for them to sign that they didn't intend to contest it. They signed but not without one of them saying to his sibs that his dad might not have been in his right mind when it was written. We had both updated our wills 6 months before, primarily to change one of the co-executors more to our desire should we have died together. Our atty talked to DH to make sure he knew what he was doing since he was already terminal at that time. His kids could have caused problems & more atty fees but I don't think they would have accomplished anything since our previous wills were written many years ago, leaving everything we own to each other, then equally to the 6 kids. At this point I could re-write mine & leave proceeds to anyone I choose. Had my SS caused problems, I would probably not leave him anything. As is, I will do the right thing & divide between all 6. My children were not included at all in the Probate process so this leaves me to believe that his will not be included in mine, as for signing a no contest form.

We could have sold anything we wanted to when he was alive, as I can now. I just really do not understand your situation.

Our wills said that the surviving spouse got everything, both tangible & intangible, which I 'think' means to include personal items. I gave his children any & everything they wanted of his personal effects. I'm assuming my children can take what they want of mine.

We had/have a good relationship with all six and did not believe we had any greedy children. A couple of them have proved us wrong.

I thought that having a trust was a way to insure your wishes could not be contested but a friend's mother died a few months back & she said that was not the case. This was in Wisconsin.

What would happen if you wanted to sell your home now? Would the kids have to approve? I think I'd be thinking about changing your state of residence if this is a law of that particular state.

I haven't been notified that my DH's Probate is finalized but I'm going happily about taking care of business without a problem.

Wishing you luck with dealing with what appears to be weird laws where you live.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Wow. I'd be real uneasy with this also. I'd want to be certain what other legal arrangements (both now and predeath) are my options. Would it be worth your while BEFORE YOU SIGN THIS TRUST/WILL to meet with a lawyer on your own (not the same one of course). Perhaps a consult by yourself to see and weigh your plus and minuses and possible alternatives? And I would not be pressured or rushed. Either your state has some really stinky laws or it could be you still have time before doing it this route. I would want to be able to speak freely to my lawyer as MY lawyer and not our joint lawyer also. And as you do love and care about your husband you'd not want to discuss in front of him the advice your lawyer might be handing out that would upset and/or hurt his feelings. You're not trying to cheat anyone. But you don't want to be cheated yourself nor at a step or natural child's mercy. All you want to do is protect yourself, have some choices made by you in your own best interest and to be assured all is fair to all parties concerned.

I'd even be tempted to review my options of staying married, signing whatever current lawyer is perparing, getting a divorce (and still living together) ect ect ect. I'm finding it hard to believe that you could lose absolutely everything you brought into the marriage and/or inherited items left solely to you.

I guess I am such a 'when h*ll freezes over' type lady, that I might even think about taking a loss on your currently joint house, sale it and rent. I'd also check on whether or not you CAN give away and/or sale what is personally yours right now. Until those papers are drawn up, detailed as to inclusion and signed I would want to be sure something of importance to only me was securely protected if not too late being your state has tough laws of ownership (grandmas ring might even be made too small to ever come off my finger and personal photos might be quieted away in a bank lock box under my child's name and oops..., and I doubt I'd bother to tell my spouse I had done so. What items?)

For pete's sake, the way you describe this trust/will your about to sign, it sounds like you and husband could not even hold a garage sale and sell off your old unwanted stuff even while both are living and in agreement.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:34PM
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Justme,I'm not signing it.I will take my half and dowry portion(and expect DH to do the same)live in it a year,move out and sell it.This house is not worth signing over my soul.That is what it seems.And h*ll will freeze over before I put myself at the mercy of stepkids,their spouses or even my own child or his spouse.Ain't happenin'.I could not hold a garage sale,rent the place out,sell it...nothing.Not even MY OWN stuff if I go with that trust.

I did hurt DH's feelings because I made it clear I did not trust his children to have my best interest at heart.I do not like to hurt his feeling purposely but I felt backed into a corner.OMG,I just couldn't believe my ears.DH was going on about how his kids would *never* cause me any problems nor would their spouses.The attorney even pointed out any of the kids could cause problems.But when I heard I'd have to roll things given me by my family into a trust up for grabs to any of the kids...Oh H no!

In my state it's either surviving spouse gets all or you have to sell(or pay off)the skids.Makes no difference if you are co owner.And yes some items will be put in a saftey deposit box in my home area(as opposed to my "home" here)and Grandma's ring will be in it.Trust or not.

DH is now talking about my son signing off on the house.If he did DH wouldn't have to sell it.Which would mean DH and his kids would recieve all.DH says he would make sure my child would recieve something if he signs off.Um,no.I don't trust it.It's a mess.DH and I can't talk it turns into a screaming match.

Then DH says that will only happen if it's probated!Well,guess what DH the house will be probated bc I'm not signing that trust.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:53PM
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What would happen if you wanted to sell your home now? Would the kids have to approve?

Yes,they would if a trust is set up,Gajopa.If not then surviving spouses have one year to live in their home even if you are joint owner and I am.After that it must be sold so deceased spouses children can receive their legally allowable share.

A step parent can of course will their step children their deceased parents share if you go the route of putting the home in one spouses name only instead of jointly owned.THEN you can get lifetime access to your own home without co owning with stepchildren because they will own it totally.You can legally dwell in it though.Nothing more.

If I survive I will just leave my home and sell.At least I may recover some of what I contributed for relocation.
DH,like it or not,will have to do the same.That is not an attractive option to have to sell and move in old age but as it stands that is my only reasonable option.Or sell the house.Or get a divorce.

The house was titled to us during our marriage.So no it's not a case of DH owning it before the marriage.Doesn't matter in my state.The state provides no easy solution for remarriage with stepchildren unless the remarried couple have minor children together.We don't and never will.I am seeking a second legal opinion on my own to be sure.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:33AM
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In other words Gajole-if I put the house in my DH's name only he could give me lifetime access to our home.He could will my share to my child but if I predeceased DH?He could legally rewrite his will and disinherit my child.And he would do just that.It has happened many times in my state from what I've read.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:55AM
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Goodness this is very upsetting. Do you mind me asking what state do you live in? I always thought with a will or trust you could leave whatever you wanted to whomever you wanted. I did not think a married couple had to leave a thing to adult children, step or their own if they did not want to. If you want to give it all to a charity or whatever I thought you could make this decision in your will or trust. Am I wrong with this thinking?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:15PM
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A will or trust is not always a cure all in remarriages w/children from previous relationships.And given each states law you may or may not have the final say over your own estate completely.A trust is dangerous in many ways.

It depends on how the home is titled and if you are willing to give rights of survivorship(which usually means the deceased persons heir(s)are cut out unless the surviving step parent does the right thing and includes the step child(ren)in their own will).That happens very rarely.The survivors own children are usually given the entire estate upon the survivors death.Or the next spouse if the survivor remarries.

There is a lot of info on state inheritance laws online.Check your state laws AND talk with an attorney.
Never assume anything.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:10AM
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Im so confused by this. Did you and your husband buy this home together? I'm not sure how the kids come into ownership of the home unless they are the actual owners and leasing it to you?

If one of you died the house should go to the surviving spouse. That spouse should disperse what the deceased parent wanted his/her children to receive from them. Done.

Why and how on earth did it become this complicated? There is no way in hell I would sign anything like that ever. So glad I bought my house and kept all my stuff in my name only.

Yes, please run don't walk to another attorney and get a second/third opinion if needed but what you are describing is unacceptable on so many levels.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:06AM
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The surviving spouse, absent a trust/prenup, is under no obligation to give a thing to the first to die spouse's kids. In fact, if the surviving spouse had medical debt, himself/herself remarries, the survivor may not be ablt to leave the property to the first to die spouse's children.

Even if your property is in your name alone, if you die first, even in non-community property states, the survivor generally has a right of dower or curtsy (sp?), to claim a portion, say 1/3 of the estate. The only way to avoid this is to have a prenup allowing a spouse to give property only to others.

When I divorced, part of the settlment was that ex had to have a prenup with any subsequenct spouse to protect my child.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 7:20PM
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I have never seen or heard of a divorce decree where it is required to have terms made up for a subsequent remarriage (prenup)..I know prenups cant address child support, custody, or visitation...Very odd to be concerned about inheritance when you already have half of Dads money...Whats left is his??? And his new family, should he have one? Where is the seperation of what is his???? Or his money is ex and exs child for perpetuity???

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Prenups can address any monetary items, not related to child support. Ex has no children other than ours. He has no intentions to have more children, and at his age, is more than capable of making that decision. He can enjoy his money while he is alive. I see no reason not to protect my child. I certainly dont expect any SM to.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:10PM
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Im so confused by this. Did you and your husband buy this home together? I'm not sure how the kids come into ownership of the home unless they are the actual owners and leasing it to you?

Yes Catlettuce,my DH and I bought the home together during this marriage.If we had bio children between us and no steps involved then the entire estate would go to the surviving spouse no matter the title.

Since there are steps it gets complicated.There is a 1/3 spousal dowry.However,bio children are entitled to a portion as well in my state.

If we retitle it to rights of survivorship then the surviving spouse will receive the home but then someones kids could be left in the cold to inherit nothing from the home...I am seeking a second opinion as soon as I can to make sure I'm being given the correct information.

I don't hate my DH's children but I don't wish to leave them any of my estate.That is for DH to do in regards to his estate.I don't believe my child is entitled to any of DH's estate either.My child is for me to leave something to.There is also a bitter ex in the mix(divorced long bf I met my DH)that will forever have her hand out.I don't wish for her to benefit from my estate either in any way.Her bitterness was not caused by me and I refuse to possibly fund a perpetual victim.

Right now our home is in joint tenancy w/o rights of survivorship.Neither of us ,by the state law, can give the other life access according to the attorney we spoke with unless one of us removes our name from the title or we roll all into that messed up trust which I refuse to do.

kkny,a prenup would have been a good idea.It's a good idea in any marriage.Too late now.My state will not do a postnup.I don't have an issue w/dowry neither does my DH.It's about making sure each side's children are dealt with fairly AND we treat each other fairly as well.Not an easy task in remarriage.Someone will get hurt or fight each other no matter what route we take it seems.It is very disheartening.

I've never heard of subsequent pre-nup orders in a divorce decree either...I have heard of certain stipulations ordering any subsequent spouse to respect the court orders in regards to parents responsibilities/rights to children until they reach the age of majority though.

It's a good idea to know what a person's divorce decree orders as well bf a remarriage.I found that out the hard way too but no prenup was ordered.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:36PM
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