I hope to get people’s thoughts on how to handle this and how to think it thru. I’m single, no kids, never married. I have 2 brothers, we’re all 60ish. Unfortunately I have an illness where the median life expectancy is about 10 years, so planning for what happens when I’m gone isn’t a “yeah, happens eventually to all of us someday” but a concern.
I have set up a will and living trust dividing my assets evenly between my brothers. I live in CA where real estate has gone up a lot in the last 30 years, so leaving my house to my brothers would be a significant sum for each (probably a million or so). Both brothers have children, so my hope is that my estate would both help my brothers and allow them to make gifts at their to their childen at their discretion. And in any event I figure my brothers and their wives would leave their estates to their children, that estate including the residual of my gifts to my brothers.
One of my brothers recently remarried, a woman who has grown children just like my brother. And I’m happy for him, he worked hard after his divorce to meet someone again. Maybe if I’d done the same I wouldn’t still be single But I have some reservations now about passing along my inheritance to this brother. When I’m not here I want both my brothers to benefit from what I haven’t used but…
If we were all younger and he remarried a woman with children and took part in raising them then I’d be ok with them inheriting from my estate since he would have been a part of their life even if he didn’t adopt them. But these are grown children that I’ve never met and who I imagine could only consider my brother as the 2nd husband of their mom but not really anything other than that. It bothers me that they could inherit hundreds of thousands of dollars from some guy they don’t even know (the brother of their mom’s 2nd husband), money I’d prefer go to my actual niece/nephew.
So to my questions and request for advice.
- Am I off base here?
- If not, is there a way to set up my estate so it passes to my brother and then the residual to my niece and nephew?
- Is it crude/rude to ask my brother about whether him and his new wife have a prenup, or what his plans are for his children in regards to inheritance?