A growing number of people in Kentucky are entering second or third marriages later in life, especially as “gray divorce” becomes more common across the country. However, people who decide to remarry may want to keep estate planning concerns in mind, especially those who have significant assets or children from prior relationships. In a happy occasion like a new marriage, few people may want to think about estate plans, but taking time to consider the estate planning essentials may help to avoid serious consequences later down the line.
Review your estate plan for potential conflicts
In some cases, when people pass away without updating their wills to include their new spouse, there may be little to no protection available for them. In other cases, the opposite concern may be a problem; your entire estate may go to your new spouse with no provisions for your children from a prior relationship. By updating your will, you can make sure that your new spouse and your children are both included in the distribution of your estate, avoiding unintended financial and emotional consequences for both. Beyond updating your will, a revocable trust may provide greater flexibility and more options for both your spouse and children.
It can also be important to consider the role of life insurance. If you already have a life insurance policy, make sure that the beneficiary is updated if you want to ensure your current spouse receives the policy. In some cases, people forget to update their policies, even after divorce and remarriage.
Seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney
Other beneficiary designations, such as those for investment accounts, retirement funds and other policies, also must be updated to ensure your wishes are put into place. An estate planning attorney may work with you as you consider remarriage by drafting instruments like wills, trusts and powers of attorney to protect your interests and your loved ones.