If you’re planning to remarry, one of the things you’ll need to do is review how your remarriage will affect your estate plan and how to best allocate your assets as you move forward. The following suggestions can help you in developing your plan and best reflect your new circumstances:
Review your assets.
With the combining of households, it is important to inventory assets that are both significant and relatively small. You should do this jointly with your new spouse and talk through your preferences regarding who should end up with the assets and whether pre-existing agreements, such as life insurance and 401K beneficiaries, etc, need to be altered or reviewed. It may be helpful to consider a number of different scenarios, such as what should occur depending on who passes away first. If you have children from your previous marriage, it is even more important to review your estate plan upon remarriage. Perhaps a marriage contract is needed to preserve separate assets.
Discuss how resources will be divided.
Good communication will be essential to work through expectations of who will receive assets and sentimental items, especially if you and your spouse both have children from previous marriages. You may want to consider options like trusts for your children or other mechanisms to ensure that they are cared for in the future. These decisions are very important and can, if left to default, lead to long, drawn-out litigation.
Update documents and beneficiary designations.
Once you have determined a plan, you will likely need to revise your will. An estate planning attorney will help you with these revisions and assist you in setting up trusts to direct assets to a surviving spouse or specific children. You will also need to update your beneficiary designations for retirement and investment accounts, along with insurance policies.
If you are planning to remarry and want to know more about how it might affect your estate, speak with an experienced Louisiana wills and trusts lawyer at the Law Offices of Theus, Grisham, Davis & Leigh, L.L.C.