The rate of marriage in the US dropped among all age groups except the 55yrs and over crowd; many people in this age segment choose to remarry.
If you’ve decided to get remarried and wish to leave behind an inheritance to children from your previous marriage, you’ll need to look into estate planning to prevent any conflicts after you’ve passed.
Many folks undermine the importance of estate planning after getting remarried, and unintentionally disinherit their children. As difficult and emotional as it is to talk about inheritance, it’s important and needs to be done with the guidance of a professional.
Use these tips to avoid disinheriting your children after remarriage:
1. Know Your Beneficiaries
Because most people remarry after the age of 50, they usually have assets to leave behind, including life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Sadly, many people forget to update their beneficiaries after they remarry.
The person listed as the beneficiary will receive the insurance money after you pass; the policy’s beneficiary is indisputable. If you want to look out for your kids after you’re gone, make sure their names are on the insurance policy.
In case your former spouse is listed as the beneficiary, don’t assume that they’ll pass on the money to your kids.
Unless your current spouse legally agrees to give your 401(k) assets to someone else, they’re going to be your default beneficiary. Again, don’t assume that they’ll willingly pass the assets on to your children. The same applies to other accounts that have beneficiaries or where they’re listed as a joint owner.
2. The House
Remarried couples usually have jointly-owned homes; the majority have a tenancy clause on their title deed, meaning if one spouse dies, the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner of the property.
If you have a “tenancy in common” clause on the property’s papers, you’re allowed to leave your share to anyone you want. Bear in mind that each state has different property laws, it’s better to speak with a real estate attorney or an estate planning lawyer to understand what your contract says.
3. Your Belongings
4. Have a Trust Fund
You shouldn’t be leaving behind cash for young adults who can’t use it responsibly, which is why you should consider setting up a trust fund instead. The trust will hold the assets for the beneficiary until the date stated on the documentation. Setting up a trust fund makes the most sense when you have young children.
Kalicki Collier is a full-service law firm based in Reno, Nevada. We specialize in estate planning, divorce and family law, real estate development, and other areas of law. If you’re getting remarried and want to make sure your children aren’t unintentionally disinherited, get in touch with us for a estate planning lawyer in Reno.