Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Monday, March 22, 2021

What to Know About Remarriage and Estate Planning

Remarriage seems to be more and more common. It can mark the start to a new, great chapter in your life. As you move towards your future with your new spouse, it can be very important to make sure you have an estate plan in place which takes into account your new circumstances. Here we will discuss things you should be aware of regarding remarriage and estate planning.

What to Know About Remarriage and Estate Planning

When people fail to take into account the potential ramifications a remarriage can have on an estate plan, children could be unintentionally disinherited and your former spouse may even get an unexpected windfall from your estate. Fortunately, there are ways to address these potential issues in a way that they can be avoided. You will need to, however, make a concerted effort to either updated your previously established estate plan.

When updating your estate plan, it can be especially important for you to take steps to protect the interests of your children from a prior marriage. Some people operate under the assumption that they can leave the bulk or entirety of their assets to their new spouse and the new spouse will honor an understanding to provide for these children from a previous marriage after you pass away. This puts your children at unnecessary financial risk. There are options where you can keep money safe to provide for both your current spouse and children from your previous marriage. For instance, you may want to create a revocable trust. The flexibility of a revocable trust makes it appealing and you can structure it so it provides financial support to both your spouse and your children.

In the alternative, you may want to establish a separate marital trust in order to separate out funds for your spouse. This trust type allows you to separate funds out of a common asset pool specifically for the benefit of your spouse. You also have the ability to dictate that any trust funds that remain when your spouse passes away go to your surviving children.

As part of reviewing your estate plan after a remarriage, you should make a point to update account beneficiaries. These accounts may include things like retirement accounts and life insurance policies that you may have listed your former spouse as the beneficiary. The beneficiary listed on these types of accounts will take precedence over anything stated to the contrary in your will. This means that it is especially important that you make sure the listed beneficiary is the person you want to inherit the proceeds of the account.

You will also likely want to check to see as to whether you need to update designations such as power of attorneys, health care surrogates, or personal representative of your estate. It is common practice for people to name a spouse to fill these important roles. Make sure it remains current.

Estate Planning Attorneys

For more information on how you may want to update your estate plan after remarriage, talk to the knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Hyden, Miron & Foster. Contact us today.

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