Estate planning is not something that you should set and then forget. This is because so much of estate planning is a reflection of our current standing in life. Life, however, is constantly changing. We gain loved ones through marriage or birth. We lose loved ones through divorce and death. With our lives and our circumstances changing, so should changes be considered for an estate plan. One big event that can have serious consequences for your estate plan is remarriage. If you have remarried or will be remarrying in the not-so-distant future, now is the time to review your estate plan and make any appropriate changes.
How Remarriage Can Impact Your Estate Plans
Remarriage can impact your estate plan on a number of levels. As you review your estate plan, you will likely want to remove the presence of your former spouse and add the presence of your new spouse. This may require several things. For example, many people name a spouse to several positions of responsibility in an estate plan. Some name a spouse to act as a personal representative of an estate. In other cases, a spouse may be named as an agent under a financial power of attorney. Further still, a spouse may be named as a surrogate in a health care surrogacy where the spouse will be tasked with making critical medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to voice these decisions for yourself.
You will also want to review named beneficiaries on accounts such as IRAs, 401ks, insurance policies, and payable on death accounts such as bank accounts. It may very well be the case that you named your former spouse as beneficiary of these accounts. You will want to update them to reflect your new spouse after you remarry.
Furthermore, you may also want to take steps to protect the financial future of any of your children from your previous marriage. You may have an informal arrangement with your new spouse that you will leave the bulk of your estate to him or her and that he or she will then, in turn, provide for your children. This places your children at an easily avoidable financial risk. Consider a marital trust to divide out the portion of your estate you want to leave to your current spouse. You can even have a provision where any portion of the estate that remains unused at the death of your spouse will pass to your children. You may also want to consider a revocable trust that provides support for both your children and your spouse.
Estate Planning Attorney
At Verras Law, we are here to help ensure that your estate plan is not only solid and comprehensive, but that it remains current to best reflect your life circumstances. We want you to have an estate plan that most effectively accomplishes your goals for the future. Contact Verras Law today.