Second marriages complicate estate plans

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2017 | Estate Planning

When a Nevada resident gets remarried, the second marriage could represent a new chance at family happiness, but it also means his or her estate plan should be updated. Subsequent marriages often create blended families with both spouses having children from other partners and then perhaps with each other. Trusts are often used to communicate the intentions of each partner when it comes to inheritances.

Some assets held jointly by a couple in a second marriage might transfer automatically to the surviving spouse. This could cause the children of the decedent to be disinherited. By placing the assets in a trust, people can potentially ensure that their children receive an inheritance without relying on the good will of a surviving spouse.

In some situations, an estate plan needs to address the needs of a surviving spouse, especially if a marital home is intended for other heirs. A trust could hold the home for future beneficiaries while granting the surviving spouse the right to live there in the meantime. People might also want to know about the financial ties that their husband or wife might have with an ex-spouse. This could cause a problem down the road if a creditor seeks payment on a debt incurred during the first marriage. Even if the divorce decree was explicit as to who should bear responsibility, creditors are not bound by it.

Existing estate planning documents will most likely have to be reviewed in their entirety as a result of an impending remarriage. An attorney can be of assistance in this regard, and can also review beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies to see if they need to be changed as well.