Supporting a second spouse without leaving funds outright

Scenario: Suzanne and George, both widowed in their 60’s, found renewed life together in a second marriage.  At his passing, Suzanne’s first husband had left a reasonable nest egg for her from his business. During their marriage, Suzanne and George viewed their resources as joint and each contributed to their lifestyle.  Unfortunately, hard as they tried, there was no love lost between Suzanne’s children and George’s children.  Suzanne shared her concerns about the family dynamics with her attorney.  She wanted to ensure that if something happened to her first, her nest egg would be there to provide for George.  On the other hand, she had concerns that if she left the funds outright to George, at his passing, what remained would be inherited by his children.  Her children would not reap the benefits of their father’s legacy.

Solution: Suzanne’s attorney worked with PTC to draft a trust document for Suzanne that allowed her to have control over her assets during her lifetime.  At her passing or incapacity, PTC would become the trustee.  If she passed before George, the trust provided George with income distributions and also allowed PTC to provide for other needs such as medical expenses.  Once George passed, all remaining balances would be paid to the children of her first marriage.