Let’s say wife (W) has a child from a previous marriage, and the marries husband (H). W and H want to create a new living trust. This situation is quite common these days, with multiple marriages and blended families. Luckily there are ways to address the competing interests of the spouses.

We will establish either a QTIP or Credit Shelter Trust, preferably with a 3rd party trustee not subject to H’s influence, into which the deceased settlor’s property will flow on his or her death. You can give a power of appointment over the survivor’s trust (the “A” trust) while still protecting W’s child in case W is the first to pass. It is not standard to give H the power to reallocate assets between the survivor’s and the bypass trust after W passes – this would make the separation of trusts pointless and would certainly forfeit W’s estate tax exemption.

How long does this planning process take? Most likely about 2-3 weeks, depending on how long the spouse’s take to make decisions. Call the Law Office of Daniel K. Printz at (858) 740-4370 for more information.