Whether your first marriage ended with the untimely death of your spouse or a divorce, you may not have expected to fall in love again. Now that you have met someone that treats you right and makes you happy, you are thrilled at the prospect the spending the rest of your life with that person.
Remarrying will mark the beginning of a new stage in your life and will change your legal situation. This relationship will affect everything from your rights in a medical emergency to your children’s inheritance rights when you die.
For most people planning a second marriage, reviewing their estate plan could be a wise decision. What can you do when revisiting your estate plan before or after remarrying?
Update your beneficiary information
One of the biggest issues about estate planning after you remarry will be the effect on the rights of your children. In theory, your remarriage may influence how the state would divide your property should you die without a valid state plan in place.
You need to update how you want to distribute your property in your will or trust documents. You also need to update beneficiary designations for your life insurance or any transfer on death designations for specific financial accounts.
Consider the value of an estate trust
Especially in a situation where you want to provide comfort for your spouse without diminishing the inheritance rights of your children, a trust can be particularly beneficial. For example, a trust would allow your spouse to continue living in your home without giving them the right to refinance or sell it.
Your children can then inherit the property once your spouse dies and no longer needs the home as their primary residence. A trust can also be important when you consider the likelihood of an interpersonal conflict between your children and the stepparent who stands to inherit a significant portion of your resources.
In addition to updating how people will inherit your property, you may also want to make some changes to any powers of attorney or advance directives that you have in place. Knowing when to update your estate plan will help you maintain documents that reflect your true needs.