Estate Planning After a First Marriage

Estate Planning After a First Marriage

Going through a divorce or getting remarried, especially if you are creating a blended family, can complicate your estate plan. If you want to protect your children’s inheritance, you may need to update your estate plan.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Wills:Whether you are getting remarried or newly single, you should update your will as soon as possible. When people remarry, they often choose to leave the remainder of their estate to the surviving spouse, with the entire estate divided between heirs after the second spouse dies. Updating your will also gives you the opportunity to bequeath sentimental items and heirlooms to your intended heirs.
  • Account beneficiaries:Many people are surprised to find, much later, that their ex is still a beneficiary on their retirement, life insurance and bank accounts. You may need to change those beneficiary designations as soon as possible unless you have an agreement otherwise.
  • Powers of attorney:In the event of divorce or annulment, or when an action is filed for divorce or legal separation, your spouse loses the authority you have given them under your Durable Power of Attorney unless it specifically states that the agent’s powers continue under these circumstances. However, should you become incapacitated, and you do not have a successor agent designated, your power of attorney is effectively invalid. Have your lawyer update the documents with a new choice.
  • Inheritance:Second marriages bring up issues of inheritance. Even if one spouse has significantly more resources than the other, that does not mean you want all children to inherit your estate in equal shares. Your attorney can help you find solutions to protect your child’s inheritance—and your new spouse should do the same.

Because subsequent marriages can quickly create complex estate issues, working with an estate planning attorney is key. They can explain potential problems and offer innovative solutions to ensure everyone ends up happy.

The experienced estate planning attorneys at BaumannKangas Estate Law can help you navigate estate planning after divorce, or a new marriage in Tampa, FL. Call today for a consultation.