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3 Reasons Remarriage Changes Your Estate Planning

Developing a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most important measures people can take to protect their assets and ensure that their final wishes are carried out after they pass away. Some people develop an estate plan but neglect to review or update it after they undergo significant life changes, like remarrying. There are three reasons remarriage changes your estate planning, though, and a person’s previously suitable plan may no longer accurately reflect their goals. If you have questions about the impact of a second marriage on your estate plan, it is advisable to meet with a skillful estate planning attorney as soon as possible.

3 Reasons Remarriage Changes Your Estate Planning

1. Your Will May Not Provide for Your New Spouse

Many people draft a will during their first marriage and include provisions that name their spouse as a beneficiary. If they divorce or their spouse passes away, however, they may put off updating their will or other estate planning documents. As such, if a person remarries, their new spouse will not inherit from their estate unless they are named in other provisions of the will. Notably, will provisions supersede state laws, meaning that the terms of the will prevail, regardless of whether a person would inherit from their deceased spouse’s estate pursuant to intestacy laws.

2. Your Children’s Inheritance May Be Impacted

Similarly, when people remarry, they should consider how their new union may impact their children’s inheritance. People should evaluate whether they want to divide their estate between their new spouse and their children or leave the entirety of their estate to either their children or spouse. If their children are still minors, they must also determine who should manage any assets their children inherit if the testator dies before the children become adults. Finally, if there is a chance that they could have additional children with their new spouse, they must assess how those children may affect the division of assets.

3. Power of Attorney Designations May Need to Be Updated

People who remarry should evaluate whether they want to grant power of attorney to their new spouse as well. Some individuals may want to grant their children the authority to make important healthcare or financial decisions on their behalf should they become physically or mentally incapable of doing so. Others feel more comfortable granting their new spouse such rights. Regardless of what a person decides, it is important that they alter any necessary estate planning documents to reflect their desires. Doing so not only helps them protect their interests but can also help to avoid conflict between their spouse and their children in the future.

Meet With a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney Today

People who experience noteworthy life events, including getting remarried, should examine whether they need to update their estate plans. If you recently remarried or intend to remarry in the near future, it is wise to talk to a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan is in order and accurately reflects your current goals. Call Gregorek & Associates at 425-284-3450 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.

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