How does estate planning factor into second marriages?

| Mar 2, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning might seem like a complicated process, but it’s essential for Florida residents to revisit an original will on a regular basis and make changes if needed. Often, when significant life-altering changes occur, estate plans may require vast revisions. Entering into a second marriage certainly reflects a tremendous change in one’s life.

Addressing the new spouse and revising previous plans

Estate planners who have remarried since they wrote their original will must look at the overall picture and how a new marriage may prompt changes. What happens if a family member given power of attorney or named as an executor of the estate doesn’t personally like the new spouse? Removing that particular relative from positions of authority might prove highly important.

While an individual intends to care for his or her new spouse in the event of an unexpected death, he or she may also want to make sure any children from the previous marriage remain financially secure. A will could require revisions to increase the chances that such outcomes occur.

Updated estate plans would likely involve writing the new spouse into a will or another document. Maybe the new spouse would be the best person to handle a health care proxy, and the proxy could replace a previously crafted living will.

Planning to avoid oversights

Unless concrete actions take place during will updates, previous decisions might stand. For example, if an adult child is listed as the 100% beneficiary of three brokerage accounts, those assets pass outside of probate. Adding the spouse as a beneficiary to receive an intended percentage requires taking action to do so. Does a previous spouse still appear as a beneficiary on accounts? Maybe updating the accounts to reflect the new spouse is overdue.

Estate planning requires an understanding of state law to make the best possible decisions. An attorney may provide insights into estate planning revisions in light of state law and an individual’s second marriage.

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