When you are young and considering marriage, estate planning is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you are considering remarriage later in life, you are likely to have more concerns about your estate plan, especially with respect to your new spouse and your existing children and grandchildren. While not everyone may agree with your estate plan, it is your decision to make, preferably with the advice and assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you. One key to successful estate planning in this situation is to have open and honest communication with everyone involved so that your wishes are clear. Make sure that everyone has a copy of your will and that everyone is aware of what he or she will or will not inherit from your estate.
Above all, if you choose to remarry as a senior citizen, you must take the time to update your will. All too often, individuals who divorce or who are widowed and later remarry don't think about changing the beneficiaries of their wills. If you don’t update your estate plan, or create an estate plan if you don’t already have one, your estate may end up being distributed according to Michigan law, which may not be what you want.
In many cases, there is a disparity in wealth between spouses, or one or both spouses have accrued significant amounts of property prior to the marriage. There are estate planning techniques that can result in tax savings and other benefits based on which spouse passes away first. Although the thought may seem unpleasant, it is better to face reality rather than ending up with negative consequences. This situation also raises the issue of prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreements. If you wish to remarry, but also wish to preserve some assets for your children from a prior marriage, a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that those wishes are carried out.
The estate attorneys of Legacy Law Center pride themselves on successfully guiding clients through the estate planning process, as well through probate proceedings, if necessary. We have the knowledge and resources to help you make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Don’t hesitate to call our Ann Arbor office today and learn how we can assist you.
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