Second marriage is a fresh start in life following a traumatic experience like divorce or the death of a spouse. However, marrying for the second time and settling down officially can be stressful initially.
Moreover, many people entering a second marriage have at least one child. And deciding on the inheritance can be tricky whether the children are minors or adults. Thus, planning an estate and other official documentation can become a big headache in situations like this.
In addition, a second marriage can produce different estate planning goals.
Therefore, it becomes crucial for the couple to consult an expert estate planning attorney to question what is fair in a second marriage and estate planning and plan insurance, inheritance, trusts, and other future goals.
What Is Fair In A Second Marriage And Estate Planning?
A census by the US census bureau states that 42 million Americans have been married more than once. The primary factor leading to a second marriage is always a divorce or the death of the other spouse.
Second marriage or maybe a third marriage can be the new beginning. Your new spouse will likely bring their children, assets, debts, and new estate planning goals. This can be a vital moment for you to update your estate plan and revise it accordingly, aligned with your spouse’s goals.
Planning the estate or updating the documentation ensures fair distribution of your assets and financial burdens. Further, your spouse might want equal distribution of the assets among the children, while you might have other plans. Or there might be controversy on control over assets on behalf of minor children. All these problems sum up to one solution: to discuss the plans with your spouse and seek an attorney’s help.
Both spouses are likely to bring children in a second marriage. Estate planning will ensure fair inheritance since it is normal for each spouse to think the best for their biological children. Moreover, the new spouse will also likely bring property, a bank account, a retirement account, insurance policies, and debts. It is crucial to decide how these assets will be divided after the death of a spouse.
While having the estate planning conversation with your partner, keep the following things in mind:
Protect Children With Special Needs
Additional agreements and arrangements are available to cater to children with special needs. A Special Needs trust (SNT) can cater to the needs of such children in terms of their medical and educational decisions in a second marriage.
In the case of minor children, make sure that you mention who will have control over the assets when you are gone. The other option is to put your asset in a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust. This will ensure the safety and fair inheritance of your assets.
A deed or power of attorney can help transfer the assets if your children have become adults.
After making the decision, plan your estate inheritance with a lawyer to clarify all the clauses.
It is only fair to review the estate plans to cater to the goals of both the person in a marriage. If your estate plan has the name of your ex-spouse, then you will need to update the beneficiary’s name immediately.
Moreover, when entering a second marriage, it is not advised to add your second spouse as a joint tenant with supervisorship to your house, especially when there are children from previous marriages involved or living under the same roof, as it gives them full ownership of the house regardless what is drafted in the will or trust.
Real estate, bank accounts, retirement funds, and life insurance policies are best to keep exclusively under your title, with trust as their beneficiaries.
Read Also:- How To Avoid Beneficiary Mistakes In Estate Planning?
Estate Planning Gaps
There can be gaps in your first estate plan. These loopholes can leave hard-earned assets in jeopardy. Not having a well-drafted will can be problematic if you pass away. Further, without a will or a proper estate plan, the state’s inheritance law will be applied, and your assets will be transferred according to it. This means that your investments might not pass on to your children or your chosen heir as you would like them to.
To minimize potential conflicts, trust can be a helpful tool. When bringing assets into a second marriage setting up one or more trusts can make passing and managing estate an easy process.
Life insurance is essential to consider as it assures you sufficient coverage to provide for the surviving spouse and children associated with the marriage. Both spouses are advised to have a life insurance policy, especially if one is the primary caretaker and the other is the primary breadwinner. This helps in determining the sufficient coverage amount.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance ensures stress-free end-of-life planning. Imagine you are in a nursing home and counting your last days. Do you want to see your spouse and children in financial debt? A long term care insurance can help you pay for the nursing home without drowning in debt.
Power Of Attorney And Advanced Health Care
Power attorney and advanced health care insurance ensure that all your wishes are fulfilled when counting your last days. It gives the right to your trusted person to make your medical and financial decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so.
Understanding the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between the two to be spouses. This sort of agreement discloses all the assets owned by the spouses and helps manage the estate and divide it in the future. Additionally, it is an excellent way to safeguard assets and protect biological children’s inheritance, eradicating the risk of disinheritance.
Tips for Dividing Assets and Debts in a Second Marriage
- Ask questions to your spouse about their future and financial decisions.
- Consider finding a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss the goals and plans and decide what can be done.
- Trust can be an essential tool for estate planning if you are planning to get married for the second or even for the third time. For instance, marital trust can be extremely helpful in passing on assets with minimized estate taxes to the surviving spouse when the other spouse passes away.
Where To Get The Best Estate Plan?
You do not need to seek an expert attorney physically. With the team of Estate Planning With Nirva, you can consult with highly knowledgeable attorneys from the comfort of your home. We at “team Nirva” offers customized legal solutions to your estate planning problems. Moreover, we make the legal language simple for you and your spouse to understand everything well.
With our best attorneys in Estate Planning With Nirva, you can get comprehensive attorney-drafted estate plans without breaking the bank.
So, click on the website and contact us directly to plan your estate and have a conflict-free marriage.
Phone no.: 844 – 995 – 815
Website link: https://estateplanningwithnirva.com/
Deciding what is not and what is fair in a second marriage and estate planning is a secondary thing. Starting the conversation with your spouse and discussing your future financial goals as a couple should be the priority.
Work with the group of expert attorneys of Estate Planning With Nirva to solve all your queries and draft a fair estate plan with your spouse.