An article recently published in Forbes magazine highlights the need for some married couples to use separate estate planning lawyers. The primary drawback of using individual estate planning lawyers is the associated expenses, though some married couples may find it more useful because of certain issues present in a marriage. Here are a few reasons why married couple may want to consider hiring individual estate planning attorneys.
Stepparents and Stepchildren
If either of the spouses in a marriage have children that are not the children of the other spouse, this is often a good reason to hire individual attorneys. One parent may want the children to receive more of an inheritance than the other, and developing individual plans in this situation is often beneficial.
Differences in Age, Financial Independence, and Property
Any time one spouse has significantly more wealth, financial independence, or is significantly older than the other, this can be enough to prompt the spouses to hire individual estate planning attorneys. Even if you choose not to hire separate lawyers, you might at least have a different lawyer review your estate plan to ensure your interests are met.
Some couples feel very free to speak about their fears and concerns in front of one another, while others are reluctant to do so. In other relationships one spouse may tend to take the lead in discussions or negotiations while the other largely remains silent. In either situation it is probably a good idea to have your own lawyer so both of you can feel free to speak openly.