According to United States Census Bureau data from 2008-2012, 24.8 percent of men and 24.4 percent of women have been married two or more times. Estate planning should play an important part in any marriage but especially in a second marriage. The alternative to having an estate plan is to leave all of your financial decisions regarding who receives your property and assets after your death directly up to the State of Texas’ Intestate Laws.
Planning for what happens when you or your spouse pass away, especially if you have children from your first marriage, can be vitally important. An estate planning attorney can help ensure your wishes regarding your inheritance will be respected.
Questions to Ask When Estate Planning in a Second Marriage
Setting up an estate plan after a second marriage is an excellent idea. You and your new spouse should carefully consider how exactly you plan to leave your assets, especially if one or both of you are bringing children into the marriage. Questions to ask yourselves can include:
- What will you leave to your children?
- Do you both have an estate plan in place?
- Do any of your estate planning documents need changing?
- Which assets do you plan on holding individually?
- Which assets such as properties and investments will you hold in both names?
- What are your other estate planning needs (trusts, powers of attorney, etc.)?
Once you have discussed your basic wishes, your next step can be contacting an estate planning attorney who can help you set up an estate plan that suits your specific family circumstances.
Estate Planning in Second Marriages with Children
Careful estate planning is especially important when there are children from a first and second marriage. Having a detailed estate plan can help avoid family conflicts. If you have children from a prior marriage, a well-thought-out estate plan can be crucial to make sure they get their fair share. There is no guarantee that your new spouse will provide for your children if you pass away first.
Depending on your unique circumstances and assets, you could have several options for providing for children in your estate plan, including:
- Establishing a trust for your children
- Naming your children as the beneficiaries of life insurance policies
- Giving your children sole or joint ownership of property
- Making provisions for certain family heirlooms to be passed on to your children
- Establishing a marital trust for your spouse’s lifetime that is to be distributed to your children when your spouse passes away
A detailed estate plan should leave nothing open to interpretation when it comes to the division of assets. If you want to pass on certain belongings or investments to your children, an estate planning attorney can help you make this crystal clear in your will.
Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help Tailor an Estate Plan to Your Specific Needs
Failing to make a will or detailed estate plan can lead to discord in the family and potentially leave children from previous marriages with nothing when you pass away. If there is no will, trust, or other estate planning document, all your assets could pass to your current spouse. Speaking to an estate planning attorney sooner rather than later can give you peace of mind and ensure that your children and your spouse will be provided for in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Let us help you build an individualized estate plan that ensures your inheritance goes exactly where you want. Call Hailey Petty Law Firm, PLLC now to schedule a consultation at 512-910-8977 (Austin) or 210-570-2458 (San Antonio).