A second or third marriage will require a hard look at your estate plan. You’ll need to look over all of your existing documents—including your will, trusts, and powers of attorney—to see what changes need to be made.
Protect Your Spouse and Kids
One of the biggest estate planning issues for people that remarry is protecting the rights of their children from a previous marriage. A careful balancing act needs to be performed so that the new spouse and the children are provided for.
A simple will typically can’t cover these situations. You need to do some more complex estate planning, particularly to plan for the possibility that you predecease your spouse.
For example, think about what would happen if your will leaves everything to your new spouse. They may not want to leave any property to your children or they may have their own kids from a prior marriage that they want to provide for.
There are many ways to plan for this scenario: you can divide up assets between your spouse and your kids or create a trust that gives a life interest to your spouse and a remainder interest to your kids.
The important thing is to understand the consequences of failing to plan or having the wrong plan.
Review Other Documents
Even if you’ve updated your will, you have to remember to look over all of your other estate planning documents, including:
- Healthcare power of attorney
- Durable power of attorney
- Account beneficiaries
The last item can often be overlooked. Your retirement accounts or life insurance policies are typically payable to the listed beneficiary, regardless of what your last will and testament says. Be sure to add your spouse as the new beneficiary if that is your preference.
Communicate With Your Spouse
Your spouse may have their own assets and estate plan that needs to be updated. Perhaps they don’t mind if you leave your assets to the kids if they already own a substantial amount of property.
Talk to your spouse about both of your estate plans and what your goals are. If one or both needs updating, contact an estate planning attorney for assistance.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated estate planning attorneys.