Estate planning for your second marriage

You met someone new, someone who makes you happy and you are excited to begin a new life with. Your children get along and you know your new spouse will be by your side as you enter this next phase of life.

A second marriage is wonderful, but it does take some planning, especially when it comes to an estate plan that you created with your first spouse in mind. Here are a few tips for modifying your estate plan in a way that works for your new marriage.

Create a prenuptial agreement

Though it may not feel like the most romantic thing to do, a prenuptial agreement can be exactly what you need to make a second marriage successful. It gives you the chance to sit down with one another and discuss your estates honestly. Then, you will put your collective decisions in writing, whether they are about your children, assets or healthcare.

A prenup works in tandem with the rest of your estate plan. It can help you determine if you will combine your assets and pass them down to your children, or if they will largely remain separate and go to your respective families. A prenup can help you care for your family even if your marriage doesn’t last forever.

Double check those beneficiaries

Generally, regardless of what is in your will, the beneficiary named specifically for an asset like your retirement plan at work will be the default. This means that when you got your new job and named your first spouse as the beneficiary to your 401k, they may still get it when you pass, even if you will says that your new spouse should be the recipient. Be sure to double check those beneficiaries.

While there are many other ways in which your estate plan may be changed to suit a second marriage and a blended family, one of the most important tactics to remember is honesty. It may not feel exciting to discuss how you will deal with your estates if the marriage does not work out, it can help you avoid many future conflicts if you discuss it before tying the knot.

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