When you or your partner have children from a prior relationship, some advance planning is critically important. Some thought must be given to likely sources of conflict between one’s adult children and a surviving spouse or domestic partner.Â Â The biggest source of contention involves the house.Â Adult children often believe it should be left to them- especially if it was their childhood home.Â On the other hand,Â the new (younger)Â Â spouse may contend that the house should be left to them and they, in turn, will leave it to the adult children.Â In an attempt to forge a compromise solution, some people opt to give the surviving partner a “life estate” in the property.Â This is a huge mistake.Â If I give my younger husband lifetime ownership in my home, my children will not be able to step foot on the property- even if the surviving spouse is in a nursing home or has moved away!Â Better to include a carefully drawn right of occupancy to the property with my estate planning.
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