Protecting Your Assets and Property When Getting Remarried

Are you thinking of getting remarried? Aside from the excitement of the event, a second marriage involves unique estate planning considerations, especially when there are children from a prior marriage. The biggest challenge you will face is how to take care of your commitment to your new spouse while also preserving assets for your children. Ask yourself what your goals are, how your prior family and your new spouse will relate to one another once you die, and who will be responsible for your money and assets.

In fact, your children may have more to fear from your new spouse than from the tax man. Why? Let’s look at a few of the ways. Let’s say that you and your new spouse-to-be each will bring separate assets into the marriage and both of you have decided that what is yours will remain yours and you are free to pass those assets on to your children from your prior marriage. Simple enough you say? The problem is that Florida law has something else to say about such an arrangement. In Florida, your new spouse will still be able to claim a share of those assets at your death even though both of you had reached this understanding. The only way to prevent your new spouse from getting a share of your estate is for both of you to enter into a nuptial agreement. Another area of concern has to do with certain retirement accounts. Let’s say you have a 401k that you have been funding for quite some time and it is your intention to designate your children as the beneficiaries. After you get remarried, your new spouse will acquire certain rights to the account at your death which may trump your children. Your new spouse will have to sign a waiver to release these rights.

It is very important to update estate planning documents when getting remarried. For example, who do you want to name as your executor or trustee? One or more of your children from your prior marriage or your new spouse? Who should you name as your agent under a power of attorney? Also, you should review your assets and decide how you want them titled. If you retitle your assets to add your new spouse as a joint owner, he or she will get the assets automatically at your death. Your children will have no claim to those assets. What about your beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance, annuities and retirement accounts? Who do you want to list as your beneficiaries? When is the last time you looked at your designations?

The lawyers at Legacy Planning Law Group can guide you through the process of getting remarried and help you update your estate plan. Remember, the time to do this planning is before you get remarried. Waiting until after you get remarried makes the planning more difficult to accomplish.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.