Is it important to update your estate plan after remarriage? Yes, even though it may not be the first thing you think about after remarrying, it can be important to update your estate plan as soon as possible after remarriage so that you can help ensure that your family, your assets, and your wishes may be protected.
Most states may give your spouse significant rights with respect to your assets and your estate in the event of your death. It can be important to consider the applicable laws and your goals. Let us discuss five questions that you should consider when you work with your attorney to update your estate plan after you remarry.
1. Is your ex-spouse still named as a beneficiary? Even though you are divorced from your ex-spouse, his or her name may still appear as a beneficiary on multiple documents, such as your will, trust, life insurance policy, 401(k) plan, etc. You may need to identify all of those assets where your ex-spouse is a named beneficiary so that you can update those beneficiary designations in accordance with your new plan.
2. How can you protect your children from a prior marriage? If you have children from a prior marriage, you may need to craft your new estate plan to help ensure they are protected and avoid a situation where your spouse inherits your entire estate after your death and chooses to then disinherit your children from your prior marriage.
3. Is there a possibility that there will be children from this marriage? You may be remarrying later in life and know that no children will likely result from the remarriage or you may remarry and expect to have children. If there may be children of this marriage, you may want to discuss with your attorney how that can impact your new estate plan, especially if either spouse also has children from a prior marriage.
4. Do you and your spouse want to combine assets or keep some assets separate? You and your spouse should discuss how you would like to approach marital property, especially if one spouse may be coming into remarriage with significant wealth. Your estate planning attorney can then help you formulate a plan.
5. Do you have a prenuptial agreement or should you consider a postnuptial agreement? Depending upon your wishes regarding marital property and the distribution of your assets, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be a very useful tool when updating your estate plan.
Do you have more questions regarding updating your estate plan? Please contact our office to schedule an appointment.