I have been dating my fiancé for just over three years. During those three years, I was cut off and spent two years unemployed to find a new job. I have a new job, earning about 75% more than what I did before, but it’s a salary above my ability to pay. My fiancé makes a modest salary compared to mine.
Financially, it took me unbearable years to pay for my son’s college education and save up the savings to retire early. According to my financial planner, I’m ahead of my 58 retirement goal (currently 51 years old) with an IRA of about $ 2 million, plus my savings and other liquid assets.
Currently, my fiancé is trying to get out of debt. She drives my old car and doesn’t share utility bills or mortgage, but she buys groceries, because the household includes her, her children, and me. By supporting her family, I have very little I can do for my son.
My family has always left an inheritance tradition. I planned to give my only son a sizable inheritance so that it could be better for myself and my family. My fiancée already has children, and my concern is that if I get married (I live in Texas), the savings I have will go to her and then to her children, ignore my son.
Since I am 10 years older than my fiancé, I doubt she can live longer than me. How do I protect my assets so they can be divided according to my wishes?
Fiance and Father are nervous
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Texas is a state owned community, so what you bring into your marriage, you bring out of the marriage. Property accumulated during the marriage, other than inheritance, is considered property of the marriage or community.
You have a number of options, including setting up a living trust to allow you to pass your property on to your son for the rest of your life, and therefore avoid probate, which may be a public, complex and unpredictable process.
You have two options for trust: withdrawable or irrevocable. First can be changed. You can remove the financial accounts in your son’s name. The latter cannot be changed, and also helps to save property taxes. It is often used to leave property to children.
Other routes: a pre-commencement agreement, a (clear) will and naming your son as your beneficiary on your life insurance policy. With the help of a estate planner, you can think of ways to ensure your son is cared for after you leave and that your future wife is not left behind.
In the meantime, make sure you keep your properties separate. For example, if you deposit inheritance into a joint bank account, it becomes property of the marriage. If your fiancee contributes to the renovation of a home in your name, it becomes the property of the community.
Talk to your fiancé about your interests and goals. It’s important to be transparent and make sure that you and her are on the same page and have the same financial expectations. You may also want to wait until your wife pays the debt before getting married.
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