Estate Planning for Second Marriages 101

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Estate Planning for Second Marriages 101

If your current marriage is not your first marriage, or is not your spouse’s first marriage, your estate plan matters more than ever. That’s because second (and subsequent marriages) often come with a different set of goals and priorities.

Here are some considerations for creating, or updating, your estate plan after you walk down the aisle a second time:

  1. Personal Representative (Executor)/Trustee

Many people choose to name their spouses as the person to be in charge of winding down their affairs, managing financial matters, and making medical decisions during periods of lifetime incapacity. With second marriages, however, that’s not always an automatic decision. Think carefully before naming someone in these key roles.

  1. Distribution Planning

Maybe you or your spouse have children from a previous relationship, and want to ensure both those children, your current spouse, and any future children are protected. Revocable Trusts with “A/B” trust provisions are a common estate planning tool for subsequent marriages, as they can help provide for your spouse’s needs when you die while still protecting your children’s interests too. (Note: A/B trust planning is just one strategy; your estate planning attorney will work with you to determine what makes sense in your situation.)

  1. Beneficiary Updates

It’s important to remember that your Will or Trust only controls assets actually passing through that instrument. Make sure your retirement accounts, life insurance, annuities, and pension plans do not list your former spouse as the named beneficiary, unless you actually intend to leave those assets to your ex-husband or ex-wife. Work with your estate planning attorney to determine whether beneficiaries should be updated as part of the estate planning process.

  1. Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

Many couples who marry a second time, or who marry later in life, choose to enter into prenuptial agreements to help protect their interests. Signing a prenup before your wedding can help avoid a scenario where your second spouse tries to claim a larger share of your estate than you intended.

To discuss your situation and evaluate potential estate planning strategies to help you meet your goals, contact us today. We can help you secure a financially sound future for you and your loved ones. Our services are available at competitive prices and do not involve any hidden costs. We are here to guide you through the difficult decisions that will protect your family after your passing!