by: Shaina Case
Roughly 40% to 50% of married couples divorce nationwide. And of those divorced, approximately 80% go on to remarry. With the excitement of new love in the air, it may be difficult to sit down with a new spouse and talk about the not so romantic issues of how to handle assets and finances upon one of your deaths. However, to help avoid unnecessary conflict and expense after one of you die, it is important to sit down with your estate planning attorney to make sure everything is in order both before and after you say “I do” to best protect you and your loved ones.
Some of the common issues that may arise in remarriages are answering questions like: Whose house are we going to live in after we marry? Who gets the house and other assets after one of us die (e.g., the surviving spouse, children from a previous marriage, etc.)? Are we going to have children in this marriage, and, if so, is that child going to share equally in assets after we die with children we have outside of this marriage? Who is the person listed as the beneficiary of your retirement (or other) account(s) after you die—has it been updated to reflect your new spouse or do you want it to be someone else?
If you do nothing and have no plan in place, you take the chance of your assets going to people that you may not have otherwise chosen (e.g., ex-spouse or adult step-children) and even possibly unintentionally disinheriting children from your previous marriage. Plan now. Your loved ones will thank you.