Multiple marriages and estate planning priorities

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2016 | Estate Planning

Nevada residents who have gone through divorce and remarriage may find it important to take a fresh look at their estate plans. Life insurance policies and retirement accounts, for example, could inadvertently be ignored after marital changes. This could result in an ex-spouse receiving resources that an individual might prefer to leave to a current spouse or their children. Beneficiaries of such policies are usually handled outside of estate planning documents. However, one’s will could be important for identifying various belongings that are intended for specific heirs.

Items with titles may require a bit of formality before being transferred. This can limit the potential for the wrong heir taking possession. However, personal items such as a family Bible or jewelry can be more difficult to manage, especially if there are heirs from different marriages to consider. For example, a short lapse between the death of one spouse and the other could create challenges related to a marital home. Children of the latter decedent in such a case might claim a right to inherit a home based on their parent being the heir after the death of the first spouse. Therefore, clarity in one’s estate documents is crucial.

Even if there is not a current marriage at the time of an individual’s death, it can be helpful to quickly change locks and limit access of relatives to the home to prevent the pillaging of belongings. If a trust exists, the designated trustee might be responsible for securing the estate and putting all relevant matters in order before proceeding to distribute the decedent’s assets.

A lawyer can help make sure that a client’s estate is in order before getting remarried. A prenuptial agreement can be another helpful tool for protecting the interests of one’s children from an earlier marriage.