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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

7 Questions to Ask Before Updating Your Estate Plan After Remarriage

 

 

 

 

Have you remarried after being widowed? If so, you may have special considerations for updating your estate plan that would not apply if your former spouse was still living and you had been through a divorce. Let us take a look at seven questions to ask your attorney before updating your estate plan after remarriage if you are a widow or widower. Have you remarried after being widowed? If so, you may have special considerations for updating your estate plan that would not apply if your former spouse was still living and you had been through a divorce. Let us take a look at seven questions to ask your attorney before updating your estate plan after remarriage if you are a widow or widower.

1. How Can I Treat My Spouse and My Children Fairly? If you have children from your first marriage and you were widowed, then it may be likely your former spouse left all of his or her assets to you, expecting that your children would inherit whatever is left when you eventually pass away. In order to protect your children’s interest, however, you may wish to put your assets held prior to the new marriage into trust for your children and agree to evenly divide what you earn together during the marriage between your children and your new spouse. Alternatively, you may decide that anything earned during the new marriage will be left to the remaining spouse, whichever of you that ends up being.

2. Do You Have Special Objects? Your first spouse may have left you specific items of sentimental value expecting these to be passed down to your mutual children. In addition to monetary assets, be sure to account for these in your new estate plan.

3. Who Will Handle Assets for Minor Children? If you were widowed while you have young children, you should decide who would be responsible for managing the assets they will inherit on their behalf should you also pass away before they become adults. You might choose your new spouse, especially if they develop a strong parent-like bond with your children. You might also choose, however, one of your parents if your family’s unique circumstances lead you to make that decision.

4. How Should We Title our Property? If you plan to buy a home together, will both of your names be on the deed? If one of you passes away, will your children inherit your share? These can be important considerations if you are widowed because you may want your children to receive their inheritance, but also want your new spouse to keep the home. 

5. Do We Have Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Documents in Place? If so, make sure to update the documents to reflect your new spouse. If not, now may be the time to create them.

6. Are My Beneficiary Designations Updated? You should make sure any designations on your retirement or brokerage accounts are reflected to update a new will.

7. Is There Anything Else You Advise? When in doubt, ask your attorney.

For further guidance in updating your estate plan, our office is available to help. Please reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

 


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