When you get married for a second or third time you should consider the estate planning ramifications. If you already have estate planning documents in place (as well you should) you will have to make adjustments.
Some people have bank accounts or brokerage accounts that would automatically become the property of the beneficiary if the primary account holder was to pass away. If you have such an account you may want to change the beneficiary upon remarriage.
Beneficiary changes on your insurance policies may be called for as well.
There is also the matter of the potential merging of assets. If you have accumulated a significant store of assets you may take pause before merging your assets with your spouse-to-be.
Many people enter into prenuptial agreements, and this may well be the prudent course of action given the fact that the majority of second and third marriages wind up ending in divorce eventually.
Assuming your marriage does last you have to consider the well-being of children that you had when you entered the marriage.
If you simply allow your assets to be dissolved into community property you cannot be sure about what your surviving spouse would do with the assets you left behind. Your children could well be disinherited, which we have seen happen on a regular basis.
There are steps that can be taken to provide for both your surviving spouse and your children. The intelligent way to proceed when you decide to remarry is to sit down and discuss all the implications with a good estate planning lawyer. Your attorney will take you through a checklist to make sure that nothing is overlooked, and you will ultimately walk away with a revised estate plan that satisfies all of your aims.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday
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