Why You Need To Reevaluate Your Estate Planning After A Second Marriage

Estate planning can sometimes be a stressful process when considering what will happen to your assets after you die. This is because you want to ensure your loved ones have your best interests at heart when it comes to how your estate and personal effects are distributed. Not only that, but in the event you go through a divorce or lose a spouse and enter into a second marriage, this process can become even more daunting.

When creating an estate plan, there are often a number of considerations to keep in mind. However, even the most carefully curated plan will likely need adjustments down the road as life adjustments happen. In the event of a second marriage, a readjustment of the original plan is inevitable. Ensuring the new spouse and children from one or both marriages are accounted for is important, as well as addressing potential new conflicts as they arise early on.

Second marriages may involve new children from either side, and depending upon the circumstances, some family members will need more support due to age and/or disability. You need to continue to assess potential obligations to a former spouse within the terms of a divorce settlement, which could limit your options for supporting new family members.

Reviewing the current beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and powers of attorney is especially important in order to determine who is appointed to make financial or healthcare decisions. By reviewing your old plan, you can ultimately ensure it will account for differing priorities related to stepchildren, adult children, young children, and new spouses.

Updating an estate plan can often be overlooked with the happiness that comes with a new marriage and a potentially growing family. Unfortunately, without updates to these plans, spouses and children from new marriages may receive very little or even nothing. Another thing to remember is that each spouse often brings new and different assets to the table, different life experiences, and even differing goals when it comes to estate planning. Discussing these matters openly with a qualified estate planning attorney can mean the difference between ensuring your wishes are fulfilled after you pass, to having the complete opposite occur.

Prior to meeting with an estate planning attorney it’s important that you and your new spouse discuss your goals, how you wish to provide for one another, and the extent you want to leave assets behind for your children. Consider any financial obligations either of you may have to a prior spouse as well, as issues can arise if they have not been fulfilled.

Houston Estate Planning Attorneys

While no one likes to think of the inevitable, estate planning can save your loved ones some of the stress of administering your estate and, in many cases, help avoid or reduce a big tax bill. At Adair Myers Graves Stevenson, we can work with you to create an estate plan that addresses all your needs. Through our long history representing small to medium sized businesses, we are especially knowledgeable of the estate tax planning requirements for business owners and principals. You don’t have to undertake the burden of estate planning alone. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.