3 Ways To Estate Plan When Remarried

Edited by Bob Brumfield

Determining Your Goals And Priorities

1. Tax savings – Estate planning allows you to establish order of priority and plan according to your specific needs, allowing for tax savings on estate taxes, gift taxes, capital gains. trusts can be an effective tool in saving even more while ensuring control over the money through your passing or beyond. Investing time now into estate planning may provide considerable financial benefits down the road – a great incentive worth considering!

2. Consider your children – Invest in your family’s future with tailored solutions. Blended families come with unique complexities, from ensuring stepchildren have their needs met to making sure all children are provided for – but it doesn’t need to be a daunting task. With careful consideration and planning, you can make sure that at least some of your estate passes directly onto the next generation instead of going through other channels first. Rest assured knowing stability and security will follow them into times ahead!

3. Consider your spouse – Estate planning should factor in the needs of a current or future spouse. Without proper accountings, your estate may not be distributed as you intended; states have specific laws that dictate how and to whom estates are divided. Consider making provisions for loved ones so that they can benefit from what is left behind after you pass away.

4. Consider your ex-spouse – Your estate plan gives you the opportunity to ensure your ex-spouse is provided for, regardless of marriage duration or current relationship status. To do so, it’s essential that specific arrangements are laid out in a clear and definitive manner.

5. Protect beneficiaries – If you’d like to ensure that your money is allocated in a specific way after passing away, setting up trusts can be a great option. For example, estate planning enables one to guarantee their adult children’s inheritance is used for educational purposes and only made available at an age specified by the grantor. This safeguards against any potential mismanagement of funds as well.

Updating Your Accounts

1. Understand the realities – If you’re remarried, it’s important to make sure your estate plans are updated accordingly. Failing to do so can have dire consequences; the proceeds of any policies may go directly to an ex-spouse despite the status of the relationship. In limited cases, courts require spouses or policyholders maintain a joint plan in order for minor children involved receive their portion. Nonetheless, one should always ensure they retain control over who receives what when updating and revising estate planning documents—keeping these up-to-date is essential!

2. Change your beneficiaries – Once you have entered your new marriage, it is essential to revise all pertinent policies in which a beneficiary has been designated. This means that any of the following related accounts must be examined for changes: life insurance, retirement investments, savings and checking accounts, annuities, stocks or bonds. Additionally ensure that estranged spouses are no longer nominated as benefactors on vehicle titles or other possessions. Heedful attention should also be paid to divorce decrees where alimony payments may demand such considerations with regard to continued coverage of ex-spouses and children through life insurance parameters.

It may be time to review the coverage of that policy and make sure it still meets everyone’s needs. Consider getting a new plan – tailored to fit with all the changes within your household – in order to ensure complete protection for those who matter most.

3. Close or re-title joint accounts – A second marriage provides a fresh start, but it’s important to remember that joint accounts can remain tied with previous spouses. When Sarah and Joe got married, for instance, the investment account in her name had Brad listed as its other owner – even if Sarah names Joe as sole beneficiary in her Will upon death, the assets from this account will still pass automatically to Brad due to their retained legal ownership. To make sure no surprise inheritance is given away after remarrying, couples should consider closing or re-titling any existing joint accounts in either of their names before beginning anew together!

Writing Documents To Divide Your Estate

1. Execute reciprocal Wills – What an important decision! You and your partner are considering reciprocal Wills, which could be a sensible choice for both of you. It ensures that each Will distributes the same assets to the same people in equal amounts – making it simpler to administer after either one of you passes away.

When signing Reciprocal Wills, it’s important to be mindful that your spouse is entitled to update their Will without notice at any time.

2. Mediate Non-Reciprocal Wills – A Non-Reciprocal Will can swiftly create a complex web of assets, leaving couples at risk for unintended surprises. It is important to take the time and effort up front to ensure both parties are on the same page regarding what possessions each owns – this way there’s no confusion about who will eventually benefit from these assets when it comes time for inheritance. Unfortunately however, even with all that clarity in place ultimately one partner has full autonomy over their own decisions without being bound by any obligation or commitment to keep other informed – meaning they could make changes granting an unequal advantage (or disadvantage) towards heirs down the line unbeknownst.

Planning ahead can help protect you and your partner’s financial interests should a disagreement over ownership of property arise. Whether it be through the use of prenuptial agreements or understanding state marital property laws, couples may have more peace-of-mind knowing that their assets are secure in any relationship situation.

3. Determine who will inherit assets – As you create your estate plan, it is important to identify who should receive the assets that will be passed down. Options for distributing property include various trusts and titling strategies that are impacted by state laws as well as individual circumstances. To ensure a smooth transition of these valuable items, consulting an attorney can help determine which arrangements would be most beneficial for those involved in inheriting them upon your death.

4. Choose a personal representative – When it comes to determining who will receive your life’s assets after you pass, the functionality of selecting a personal representative is just as important. This individual must be held accountable for following through with the wishes outlined in your Will and ensuring that all estate-related matters are taken care of to completion; this includes collecting assets, obtaining appraisals, opening an account on behalf of the estate and more. Choosing someone impartial with experience handling such tasks should be top priority – there’s no room for cutting corners when it comes to making sure things go according to plan without any unexpected surprises down the line.

An impartial estate manager is crucial. Choose a non-family member who has no ties to any one side of the union. This will ensure that she remains unbiased in case of probate complications down the line.

5. Execute your official documents – Once the planning process has been completed, it’s essential to ensure that your wishes are reflected through official documentation. A variety of documents may be used for estate-planning purposes including a Will, power of attorney and Living Will – all vital in safeguarding you and those around you.

A Last Will and Testament is a vital legal document that establishes who will inherit an estate following the passing of its testator. Through careful planning, this document ensures peace-of-mind for all concerned parties involved in the testamentary process.

A power of attorney is a vital legal document that allows trusted individuals to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable due to physical or mental incapacitation. It’s essential for ensuring key affairs are managed even when tough times arise, allowing peace of mind and protection through appointing a person who knows what it takes to represent the matters that matter most.

A Living Will is an invaluable document that ensures you are taken care of in accordance with your wishes if faced with serious medical decisions. It provides peace of mind and guidance to both your family and doctors, helping them make informed choices on how best to support you at times when it matters most.

About the author

Bob Brumfield

Attorney Bob Brumfield has been practicing law since 1984 and regularly receives the “Top Lawyers in California” award as well as the “Client Distinction” and “Client Champion” awards from Martindale-Hubbell.

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