Many people fear that a spouse from a second marriage will not leave assets to the children of a previous marriage. If you leave all of your assets to your spouse in a simple will, this is a real concern. The second spouse is under no obligation to leave assets to your children from a previous marriage in his or her own will. Even if you and your spouse create joint wills that leave assets to all of your children, nothing prevents your spouse from changing his or her mind after you pass away.
With proper estate planning, however, you can avoid this problem and leave assets to your children from a previous marriage. In New York, an attorney can assess your situation and find the best option for you. For example, if your spouse lives in a home that you individually own and would eventually like to see pass to the children of your first marriage, you might want to give your spouse a life estate in the property and have it automatically pass to your children when your spouse passes away. In other situations, setting up a trust or leaving your children assets in your will might be better options. A qualified estate planning attorney can determine the best options for your family situation.