Estate planning considerations after remarriage

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Apart from celebrating love, remarriage can represent new beginnings. A second union may do more than unite you and your new partner; it can also bring your children together to form a blended family. After experiencing such a major life change, reviewing your existing estate plans may be in order.

Now that your family has grown, it will be crucial to talk to your spouse about the well-being of all children involved: yours, theirs and those you may have together.

Why updating an estate plan after remarriage matters

Big life changes often bring a shift in priorities. If you have a new child, you may want to secure their financial future. Similarly, you may want to ensure your new spouse is cared for in case something terrible happens.

Overlooking an estate plan could lead to unintentional consequences. Imagine what could happen if your ex-spouse remained the beneficiary of your assets or if you failed to include your newest child in the will. Family disputes and resentment could arise.

Regularly updating an estate plan or revisiting it when you experience an important life event is a smart approach to ensure that it reflects your current objectives.

Is estate planning different for blended families?

Having a blended family can introduce additional factors into estate planning. There is more than just you, your spouse and mutual children to consider. Now, you might have children from a previous marriage, former spouse and stepchildren in the picture.

Although you want to show that you care for your new family members, you also want to protect the future of your children from a previous relationship. A bigger family means you have more members to cherish, but it also requires thoughtful decision-making.

Out of trust, you might consider naming your new spouse as the sole beneficiary, letting them decide how to distribute assets to your children. However, they may not follow through. Moreover, stepchildren do not have inheritance rights unless you legally adopt them.

It can be painful to think about these things, but an outdated or poorly drafted estate plan could deprive your children of their inheritance.

Balancing fairness and love

You are free to tailor your estate plan in whatever way you think is best. There may be pressure to treat all children the same, but true fairness may be in considering the unique needs and circumstances of each family member.

Updating an estate plan after remarriage goes beyond adding and changing names. It is about safeguarding the future of each person you care about, including your children from a previous marriage and any new family members you welcome. If you are unsure how to approach estate planning, consider speaking to an attorney to determine what changes may help address the needs of your blended family.