Estate planning and remarriage

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2020 | Estate Planning |

In recent years, older people in Florida have been divorcing more than ever before. This phenomenon has also led to an increase in the number of remarriages among seniors. It’s important for couples to revisit their estate plans when preparing for marriage. That’s especially true when they have adult children from prior relationships.

Estate planning for second spouses

An estate plan includes documents like a will where the testator is able to distribute their property and name a guardian for any minor children they have. Wills need to be updated when major life events occur. The court may not honor a will that doesn’t take all the relevant parts of the testator’s estate into account.

People who don’t leave wills create other issues for their families. For example, a parent’s estate could pass directly to their children and bypass a second spouse entirely. It’s a good idea to consult an experienced attorney and find a way to include the second spouse rather than risking them being turned out of the family home or facing other difficulties.

Sometimes, people forget about assets they may have left to their first spouse. For example, people might remarry but forget to change the beneficiary on old insurance policies. These policies are legally binding contracts. Even if the will specifies that insurance should go to the second spouse, the signed insurance policy may supersede this. Remarriage is a qualifying event when policyholders will be able to change their beneficiaries.

Estate planning isn’t as daunting as it sounds, but there are plenty of nuances that need to be addressed. That’s why it’s prudent to consult a lawyer with experience in estate planning. A lawyer may help clients understand what questions to ask and what pitfalls to look out for.