Estate Planning and Your Second Marriage

If you are in your second marriage, you will want to be careful when you are planning for the future of your estate. Oftentimes, individual that have been previously married have certain policies in their former spouses' name. Also, people that are on their second marriage may have kids from a first marriage that they want to give some of their assets too. Sometimes, a second marriage requires some creative planning.

For example, you may want to think twice before you give your new spouse entitlement to your home by joint ownership with rights to survivorship. If your surviving spouse receives the home, he or she may will it to his or her biological children, leaving your children from a previous marriage out of the will. There are also issues with beneficiary designations.

Talk with your spouse about all of the concerns you have regarding estate planning. With the help of a well-informed attorney, you may be able to carefully structure an estate planning that protects your children while allowing your new spouse to receive his or her rightful claim of your property.

If you and your spouse both have considerable assets, you may want to consider keeping your estate plans separate. This way, you can will your estate to your biological children without having to worry about what will happen to the stepchildren. Also, if your spouse has considerable fewer assets than you do, you could set up a plan that allows you to provide for the loved one until death or remarriage and the have the remaining assets distributed to your children via a trust.

Another option is to carefully structure a trust as beneficiary for your life insurance policies and tax-deferred plans so that you can keep control over how the proceeds are distributed and who they are distributed to. You may be able to provide a lifetime income for your spouse but still keep control over other proceeds so that a spouse will not spend them irresponsibly. Make sure that you can trust your spouse if you choose to make him or her your main beneficiary, and don't hesitate to call an estate planning lawyer to help you structure your estate plan carefully. Call today to learn more!