Today, second marriages are happening with increasing frequency. The past ties could complicate the future, especially where family members and financial obligations are concerned. Estate planning for people in a second marriage takes on characteristics that are designed to keep one foot in two different worlds.
Here are some things to consider:
Irrespective of the details of your particular situation, it’s important to analyze the potentially delicate nature of taking any planning action. In complicated situations, such as when multiple families are involved, it might be worthwhile to consider attaining professional “outside” advice.
Be aware of the consequences of different types of asset ownership.
You may choose to put assets in your own name—that is, if you intend them to go to your children. For instance, new assets acquired in joint tenancy with your spouse will automatically be passed on to the surviving spouse.
You may wish to have a pre-marital agreement. Although a sensitive subject, it may be important if your desire is to leave most of your estate to your children. Also, review your will if you wish to ensure it does not benefit your former spouse.
As in many financial endeavors, estate planning is not a “do-it-yourself” situation. You will want to be assured that your current estate plan fulfills your wishes and is the correct one for your current stage of life. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you consult your financial, tax, and legal professionals in order to ensure your planning is in concert with your overall concerns and objectives.
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