Why Kourtney Kardashian Barker Needs an Estate Plan
In June 2023, newlywed Kourtney Kardashian Barker famously held up a sign at her husband's Blink 182 concert announcing, "Travis, I'm pregnant." It was a surprise to him and all their fans. Her next sign should be, "Travis, we need an estate plan!"
Kourtney has been married before and has three children, sons Mason (13) and Reign (8), and daughter, Penelope (10). Travis Barker has three children from a prior relationship, stepdaughter Ataina (24), son Landon (19), and daughter Alabama (17).
As a modern-day "Brady Bunch," Mr. and Mrs. Barker must sort out many estate planning issues affecting them and their loved ones. Blended families often require specialized estate planning. That is why going through an estate planning checklist before and after you marry is important. Among the issues the Barker couple may consider are:
Making New Wills
Assuming Kourtney and Travis made wills before their relationship, they may want to revisit them and see if they need to update their will. Typically, spouses prefer to name each other as the personal representative and beneficiaries of each other's estate.
Kourtney may want to update her will if, before her marriage to Travis, she named her mother or one of her sisters as her personal representative, especially if she named her sister Kim as her personal representative since they now have a dispute over Kim's collaboration with Dolce and Gabbana.
Naming Guardians for Minor Children
Additionally, in your will, you name guardians to care for your young children under the age of 18. With a second marriage, the choices of a guardian may change. For example, Kourtney may want to update the guardians of her children. Currently, she shares custody of her children with her ex, Scott Disick. If he were to die before her while her children are still minors, Kourtney needs to designate someone to act as their guardian if she dies. She may choose to name her new husband as her children's guardian or choose her mother or one of her sisters.
Following the pregnancy announcement at the concert, the couple revealed they are expecting a boy. Since this child has different parents than his siblings, Travis and Kourtney must decide who to name as their child's guardian. Children of different ages, from other families, and with different needs may benefit from having a guardian suitable to care for them.
Creating a Post Nuptial Agreement
There was much controversy over when Kourtney and Travis were legally married. They had a ceremony in Vegas, the actual marriage in Santa Barbara, and a lavish wedding in Portofino, Italy.
It is unclear if they had a prenuptial agreement before the marriage, but if they didn't, they might consider making a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement but is made after the marriage ceremony. In a postnuptial agreement, the parties decide how to divide property if there is a divorce.
For second marriages, these agreements often separate prior property from marital property, and spouses waive their right to an elective share of the other's estate. An elective share is a portion of the decedent's estate a surviving spouse may claim if left out of their spouse's will.
Naming a Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is a document where you name someone you trust as your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf. You can direct when your agent's authority begins and ends and what powers they have.
Spouses often name each other with a backup agent in case their spouse dies or the marriage ends, terminating the agent's authority. It is helpful when one spouse handles all the finances, or each spouse handles a different part of their financial lives, and one spouse is incapacitated. The other spouse can step in and continue to manage the finances.
Naming a Health Care Surrogate
A health care agent or health care surrogate is someone you name to get medical information and make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable. Again, spouses might name each other as their health care agents because even though they are married, restrictive HIPAA laws protecting privacy may stand in the way of getting medical information. You can name a health care agent in a health care power of attorney or as part of a living will or advance medical directive.
Creating a Living Will
A living will or advance medical directive expresses what life-prolonging care and treatment you want or don't want when you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition. You specify your wishes so the burden isn't on your loved ones to decide what you want.
Presumably, Kourtney and Travis have high-paid lawyers to sort this all out for them. However, the news is flooded with many celebrity estate planning fails. For example, Kourtney's father, Robert Kardashian (who was a famous attorney), had a handwritten will leading to numerous disputes.
The Barkers may want to take advantage of online legal resources that help them put their estate plan together and be able to update their wishes as their circumstances change. One thing we can always count on is that the Kardashians keep things interesting.
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