Second Marriage - Case Study

Roger and Patricia Howard met on a travel tour for seniors and married later in life, each after losing their first spouse to illness. Roger has three adult children from his first marriage, Patricia has two, all of whom are doing well in their various stations in life. Everyone in the family gets along fine, but Roger’s and Patricia’s children, who met when they were all grown, are not especially close to one another. Patricia’s net worth is a good deal higher than Roger’s, and other than a small joint checking account they use to share household expenses, they have kept their assets separate. Both came to First Covenant with the same goals:

We want to ensure that whichever of us is the surviving spouse is well cared for with all of our combined assets. The survivor should be able to continue to live the lifestyle we have together as long as health allows.

Upon the second death, we each want our own children to inherit our assets—Roger’s children getting his assets and Patricia’s children inheriting her portion. We want to ensure that the order we die doesn’t impact which spouse’s family inherits everything. We especially want to make sure that if the survivor remarries again, that the family of that unknown future spouse doesn’t inherit from us.

Both spouses named First Covenant Trust as their Agent under Power of Attorney. They also each named First Covenant as successor trustee of their respective revocable living trusts, both of which provide that a surviving spouse benefit from the trust as long as he or she lives. In this way, First Covenant is in position to ensure that the survivor has enough to continue the manner of living he or she is used to, but not so much that the either spouse’s children are left without an inheritance. Roger and Patricia are comfortable that this plan, administered without bias by First Covenant, will best balance their desires to care for their surviving spouse, while also ensuring each spouse’s children eventually receive an inheritance from their parent.