7 Questions to Ask Before Updating Your Estate Plan After Remarriage
Did you know that remarriage is on the rise in the U.S.? It can be important to note, however, that remarriage can create some tricky estate planning issues. Are you wondering how you can assure your assets end up where you want them to after your death? Let us discuss seven questions to ask before updating your estate plan after remarriage.
Estate Planning Considerations After Remarriage
- How can I make sure my children are not passed over should I die before my spouse? If you have children from your first marriage and you die intestate, without a will or trust, there may be a chance everything will pass to your current spouse, who may then leave everything to his or her children, bypassing yours. There may be several estate planning options to protect your children. A revocable trust could provide for you during your lifetime, and following your death can dictate the distribution of assets.
- How can my spouse and I divide our joint assets between the children from our first marriages? When both you and your new spouse have children from prior marriages and have acquired joint assets, there may be several options for division of the joint assets following both of your deaths. These options include: equal division among all children or splitting equally between the spouses, who then distribute his or her half to the children.
- Who will get the marital home after I pass away? If your spouse is financially dependent upon you and you pass away, there may be a possibility his or her life could be drastically impacted. For example, if the marital home is solely in your name, it may pass to your children, who may be able to force your spouse to move out. One solution for this may be the creation of a marital trust, often referred to as a Q-TIP trust, which can provide for your spouse, separate from your children’s inheritance, with the remainder of the trust passing to your children following your spouse’s death.
- How can I provide for my much younger spouse but also leave my children some inheritance? Purchasing a life insurance policy that names your children as the beneficiaries is one way to accomplish this goal. Not only will this provide for your children after your death, but it will also prevent your children from waiting years to receive their inheritance. Although this ensures that your children would receive assets, it does not protect those assets from either (i) claims of future creditors, (ii) a spousal claim during a divorce, or (iii) a child’s frivolous expenditure. Accordingly, naming one’s living trust as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy is often a better solution.
- Can my spouse and I keep our assets separate? Utilizing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and separate estate planning may be another option for couples who prefer to keep assets separate. In this instance, it may be recommended that each spouse retain his or her own attorney to represent his or her interest.
- What else do I need to know? An important estate planning issue often overlooked by a remarrying couple may be planning for disability and long-term care, as the assets you bring to the marriage may be deemed assets by Medicaid and could eat up your children’s inheritance, if your spouse falls ill.
- How can I prevent these estate planning issues from negatively impacting my marriage? Try to discuss everything in detail, so there may be no surprises.
Contact The Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen Today!
Our office can assist you with these discussions and with helping to assure all of your loved ones are provided for, according to your wishes. Please call the Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen at (202) 895-2799 to schedule a time to meet.