These days many Americans are making that second and third trip down the alter. In 2013, 65 percent of marriages were a remarriage for one or both partners, according to a Pew Research Center report.
More common than second and third marriages are lackluster or non-existing estate planning. It is estimated that 63 percent of Americans don’t have a will, and 9 percent have one that’s outdated. Even fewer have more sophisticated plans such a Living Trust or other type of trust.
The combination of the second or third marriage coupled with out-of-date or non-existent estate planning provides tremendous complications for the second or third spouses as well as the kids from the first marriage.
Basic Planning tips for the Second or Third Marriage:
- If you already have a Living Trust Update your beneficiaries.
- If you don’t have a trust, make plans to create one. The Living Trust is the most advantageous legal document you can create to ensure your beneficiaries are able to acquire your assets without unnecessary time or expense in probate court.
- If you have life insurance or retirement plans make sure you modify or amend the beneficiaries to be in accord with your wishes
- Revise your power of attorney and health care directives. Do you want modify your agent for health care decisions? Make sure you do so immediately
- Watch titling. Another case where your will won’t matter: Assets titled as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety or community property with rights of survivorship pass automatically to the surviving owner. Review existing assets to ensure ties with an ex-spouse are severed
- If you want certain accounts or property to go to someone other than your spouse, title those assets accordingly — or keep them separate as you merge finances.
- Use prenups, postnups and waivers. Such agreements can often be worded to limit the rights automatically afforded to spouses, such as the right to take an elective share in your estate even if they are not mentioned in the will.
- Account for personal property. Tangible personal property often ends up with the new spouse. If you want to make sure your family heirlooms or other items of sentimental value go to a specific person, specify that in your estate plan.
The TrustLockUSA Estate Planning system helps you to create all of your essential estate planning documents. Our Cloud-based system securely gives you and the loved ones you assign, access to all your important legal documents anytime, anywhere in the world using your computer or smart phone.
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