Getting married for a second or third time is increasingly common in the United States. However, the complicated estate planning and financial issues can be anything but simple if you don’t schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer well in advance. There are many different issues that can emerge when it comes to blended families and second marriages. First of all, you may already have an estate plan in place from your previous marriage. There’s also a good chance that your former spouse was listed as a beneficiary on your retirement accounts and your life insurance policies.
If you fail to update this information, by law those companies are required to give it to the person listed on the accounts.
It is imperative that your estate plan be in conjunction with the other materials you have designed to pass on assets to people in the future such as your retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Some of the critical issues that you need to discuss with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney when getting married for a second time include:
- Community property versus common law
- Ownership and expenses
- Timing of inheritance
- Remarriage protection
- Use of the home
Consulting with a lawyer will help illuminate you on the various issues that can affect you and how to plan appropriately so that everyone is clear on their rights and responsibilities.