Is this year, 2023, the year you are planning to remarry? We know you and your future spouse must be involved with all the busyness that surrounds a wedding: setting a date, contacting wedding venues, and notifying family. In the midst of all the wedding chaos, have you considered how remarriage will impact your Florida estate plan? With your first marriage, typically the goals of each spouse are usually the same: take care of the surviving spouse for as long as he or she lives and then divide what is left equally among the children. In addition, if the children are still minors, you and your first spouse probably set up a trust for the kids until they are adults. This is understandable because many couples own their assets jointly. However, this is most likely not the case when dealing with remarriage and estate planning. A Marriage Estate Planning Checklist can help guide you through this important and challenging step.
You need to be aware that often, in a remarriage or when marrying later in life or after amassing significant wealth, the goals may not be so perfectly in sync, and the former methods for estate planning may not work as well. For example, if you decide to put your new spouse on the title of your home, it is now considered to be owned jointly with the right of survivorship. What does this mean? It means that when you pass away the home becomes the property of your spouse, without restriction. However, be aware, it also means that there may be no guarantee that your spouse will pass it along to your children from a prior relationship. From this example you can see that remarriage can have a significant impact on estate planning. Remarriage can, in fact, affect the distribution of assets upon the death of one spouse. Here are six estate planning considerations to think about when planning for remarriage:
1. Review and update your will or trust documents to ensure they reflect your current wishes, including any provisions for a new spouse.
2. Consider using a prenuptial agreement to clearly define the ownership of assets and protect the interests of any children from a previous marriage.
3. Review your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, insurance policies, and other financial accounts, and update them as necessary to ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
4. Consider setting up trusts to provide for a new spouse while also protecting assets for children from a previous marriage.
5. Review your long-term care plans and options and consider how they may be affected by remarriage.
6. Consult with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney to ensure that your plans are properly executed and that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
It is important for you to know that estate laws vary by state, so it is critical that you consult with a qualified estate planning attorney familiar with the laws in your state.
Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. The Marriage Estate Planning Checklist we have provided is just a sample of the estate planning services our clients receive. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more. Call: 1(772) 266-5108