I'm in the process of establishing a will, primarily so that my minor child is protected. I've been unable to get my husband to take similar steps (a multitude of excueses why he's too busy), so I've decided to proceed on my own.
I've got a meeting scheduled with an attorney. However, prior to that meeting I'm trying to think through all potential issues. Keep in mind that our marriage is extremely strained right now.
The vast majority of what will be in my estate
will be from retirement savings and life insurance. I have 3 primary concerns:
1) Upon my death, I'm ok with my husband using a portion of my estate to pay down our mortgage and a few other debts. However, I want to ensure that there's a significant amount left for our two-year old-- for his education and for him to become established as an adult.
2) I know that if I just place all of this in a trust with my son as the beneficiary, my husband will slowly squander the money and claim that he's using it to 'support' our child. (I watched him do the same thing with the social security survivor benefits that we paid to him on behalf of his son from a previous marriage when his former wife died-- the majority of it really wasn't used on things that directly benefited him.) How can I ensure that if he's named as the trustee that responsible decisions are made? Alternatively, I could name someone else as the trustee, but that would make it difficult to accomplish item #1. I don't want him to feel like I've placed him on a leash, but I also know his spending habits.
3) I want to ensure that if my husband passes away that none of my estate goes to his son from his previous marriage.