• Ron Suggs

I Don’t Have to Plan Because My Spouse Will Get Everything

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many people right in their tracks. Others talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to put together an estate plan based on a few common estate planning myths. Read on to find why that way of thinking might cost in the end.

For many married couples, it is common to own property or bank accounts jointly. If these assets are owned jointly or as tenants by the entirety, when one spouse dies, then the surviving spouse automatically becomes the sole owner. In most cases, this is the desired outcome for married individuals.


However, this approach can be dangerous. While it is convenient for assets to pass automatically to the surviving spouse, this outright distribution offers no protection. What happens if, after your spouse dies, you get into a car accident and are sued? If the assets you owned jointly automatically became yours alone, this money and property are available to satisfy any judgment that could be entered against you resulting from a lawsuit.


Additionally, what if, after you die, your spouse gets remarried? If the brokerage account you owned jointly becomes your spouse’s only, your spouse is now able to spend it all in any way he or she wants without any consideration for your wishes or the next generation. Your spouse’s new spouse could go out and buy a sports car with the money you intended to pass to your children. With blended families being common today, this is a real concern for many people.


Estate planning does not mean that you have to disinherit your spouse. Rather, it means the two of you can sit down and plan out what happens to your joint property and accounts upon either of your deaths, ensuring that the survivor is provided for and that any remaining money and property are gifted in a way that is agreeable to both of you.


We would love to help you get started. Give us a call or send us an email to set up a free consultation to talk about your personal situation.


ron@ronsuggslaw.com

916-903-3717


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The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. Sending a contact request alone does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Nothing on this site is to be taken as legal advice as each case is different and will be handled as such. Ron Suggs is licensed to practice law only in the State of California.