The majority of people getting remarried have very little concept about the full legal impact of their new marriage. In fact, they might believe that waivers and other key documents like prenuptial agreements are only needed by wealthy couples. As a result, individuals may do very little planning when it comes to getting remarried. This can increase the conflict as well as potential chaos that happens when an individual passes away.
Although a remarriage doesn’t generate more spousal rights than a first marriage does, there is often an unstated perspective about spouses in second marriages having limited rights to the new spouse’s assets. One way to do this is by considering spousal elected share. This refers to legal claims that a surviving spouse has rights to a particular portion of the assets of a deceased spouse even if the deceased spouse disinherited that survivor.
Every state across the country except Georgia allows for a spousal share election to a surviving spouse or community property rights to a spouse. The spousal elective share will typically range from 30% to 50% of the augmented decedent spouse’s estate. It is often in addition to other spousal claims that the spouse could have against the decedent’s estate. Make sure you consult with an estate planning attorney any time you are considering remarriage as this can have significant implications for your estate.