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Explore General Legal Issues

Estate Planning Tips For Second Marriages

by Ralph Griffin

Estate planning is something that people often start working on when they are in their 30s or 40s, and it is something you should continuously work on as things in life change. People who are currently in second marriages have different needs with estate plans than people in first marriages, which is essential to know if you are in a second marriage. Here are several tips to help you properly plan your estate if you are in this position.

The Difference

First, it might be helpful to understand why second marriages have different estate planning needs than first marriages. One reason is that each spouse may have their own children. Secondly, each spouse may have brought assets and wealth into the marriage that needs to stay somewhat separate. If you get remarried and do not plan your estate, everything you own would likely go to your spouse if you died. The downside to this is that your spouse might not leave anything to your kids in his or her will. Estate planning in second marriages helps spouses protect their children and families.

Trusts Work Well

Many estate planning attorneys recommend using trusts for these situations. They also recommend using separate trusts. Each spouse in a second marriage can create a trust and place their assets in it. The trust protects the assets, and the instructions with the trust control what happens to them after the person dies.

With a trust, you can safely transfer your assets to your kids after you die. To do this, you must create the trust and place all your assets in it. Next, you must name your beneficiaries and include instructions about the division of your assets.

If you have joint assets with your spouse, you can talk about how to divide these. You may have the option of creating another trust that is in both spouses' names. You could place all your joint assets in this trust and name beneficiaries on it.

Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer

If you are not sure how to proceed with your estate plans, talk to an attorney. Attorneys that offer estate planning services know the law, and they also know the challenges of estate planning for couples in second marriages. An experienced lawyer can explain all your options and make recommendations to help you know the best route. If you have questions, call an estate planning attorney today.

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