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Estate planning and subsequent marriages

Though we may not always wish to acknowledge it, divorces do occur. National Center for Health Statistics research suggests that about half of marriages have ended in divorce since the beginning of the millennium. And it's because the possibility of divorce does exist, attorneys do recommend that clients take another look at their wills in the event of divorce or a second marriage.

Provisions in wills can become void in the event of a divorce. In the event of a subsequent marriage, however, events can become especially tricky if there are children from the first marriage. These children may be forced to share a portion of the estate with the new spouse. The parent of the children may or may not wish for that to occur.

The new spouse will generally receive an elective share in any event without other agreements or legal measures being put in place. Wills made prior to the marriage will generally not prevent the new spouse from collecting his or her share unless that will was made in contemplation of a future marriage.

Even a will drafted after a marriage may not prevent the new spouse from collecting that portion of the elective share. A valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may have to be in place to prevent this from occurring.

Nevada readers may wish to speak to a qualified probate lawyer if they have questions about their wills and are worried that the will may be contested in some manner. Under any circumstances, it still is generally best to speak to an attorney to make certain that mistakes have not been made in the drafting of a will and that your estate will be distributed in the manner that you wish.

Source: MyFoxDC.com, "Marriage Death, and Estate Planning," Astrid de Parry, Nov. 8, 2013

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