Sunday, September 13, 2009
Guest blogger Hannah Watson on "Five Things to Consider When Building an Estate Plan After a Second Marriage"
Five Things to Consider When Building an Estate Plan After a Second Marriage
Getting remarried can be a joyous event, but it can also make estate planning decidedly more complicated. Brining more people into your life can make it much richer and happier, but it also means that your assets will be divided between more beneficiaries and that’s where things can get pretty dicey, especially if you add new children into the mix. Here are some things you should consider when revising your estate plan to take into account the newest members of your family.
1. Alert your family as to your plan. Don’t let your children from a former marriage be surprised by any changes you make to your estate plan when you get remarried. Upon your death it may cause a great deal of ill-will between your surviving relatives and may even result in lawsuits, so lay out your plans ahead of time so all your beneficiaries will have time to come to terms with what you plan to do with your assets.
2. Talk to your spouse. There will be major issues that you will need to work out with your new spouse in order to make sure things will go smoothly and he or she will be able to live comfortably should something happen to you. You should also make sure of your spouse’s intentions with your estate to ensure that there are things set aside for any children of previous relationships.
3. Consider a trust. More and more trusts are becoming the most logical and fair ways to divide up assets in blended families. It can often be an easier way to ensure that money is set aside for children as well as for the surviving spouse, without any confusing upon your passing.
4. Figure out your goals. Every family is different. You may not want to leave any money to your children and instead give it all to charity. This is something that you and your spouse need to work out and discuss with all of your children. You want to be able to meet your own goals, after all, without making your children upset that you’ve left them out or failed to plan for them.
5. Talk to a professional. Because blending families makes estate planning much more complicated in many instances you may want to talk to someone who knows all the ins and outs of it all and can give you professional and reliable advice on dealing with your assets. It may cost more up front, but it can make a big difference in the long run for family members.
This post was contributed by Hannah Watson, who writes for Online Courses.org. She welcomes your feedback at HannahWatson84@ yahoo.com