Remarriage and Estate Planning


If you are planning to get remarried, it is important that you revise your estate plan before doing so, especially if you have children from a previous marriage.

One of the most challenging things for estate lawyers and probate courts to administer is the estate of someone who passes away without a current plan, who was married at the time of death and who had children from a previous marriage. In these cases, it has to be determined how much the spouse is entitled to and how much should go to the children from the previous marriage.

Depending on the terms of the divorce, an ex-spouse could also be entitled to certain assets of the deceased. Most of the difficulty can be avoided if, before getting remarried, people revisit their estate plans and make sure they are updated properly to reflect the expected marriage.

This was the subject of a CNBC article titled “Getting remarried? Protect your assets and your interests.”

The article lists some common estate planning mistakes that people make when getting remarried, including:

  • Not deciding whether beneficiary designations on financial accounts should be changed.
  • Not having a plan for which assets can be comingled with the new spouse’s assets and which should not be.
  • Not having an estate plan at all.
  • Not considering a prenuptial agreement.
  • Failing to give proper verbal instructions to family members.
  • Not deciding whether a house needs to be re-titled.
  • Not purchasing long term care insurance or otherwise planning for nursing home care.

Why take chances? Get the counsel of a qualified estate planning attorney to help you cover all of the bases.

Reference: CNBC (July 28, 2016) “Getting remarried? Protect your assets and your interests.”

For more information on Trust and Estate Planning please visit our website.