It is estimated that 80% of people who get a divorce will eventually remarry and in some cases, those divorcees end up remarrying each other. But in the event you are saying “I do” to someone new, there are some considerations with second marriages you need to consider. Today, we’re talking about estate planning.
Four Estate Planning Considerations To Make Regarding Second Marriages
Whenever a major life event happens, it’s best to review your current estate plans to ensure they have been updated to match your new situation. However, getting a divorce and remarrying is often forgotten. If you have recently been remarried, here are some things you need to consider:
- 1. Finances: Chances are if this is your second marriage, you’ve already accumulated your own assets and financial state. While many couples will set up joint accounts to pay for shared expenses, you’ll need to think about the finances you’ll want to remain separate.
- 2. Shared vs. Individual Property: Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, meaning your property will be divided equitably according to factors like spouses’ age, length of the marriage, earning potential, etc. During your divorce, there may have been parts of your previous estate that you now have brought into the new marriage. However, that property owned before the second marriage, as well as gifts and inheritances, is not subject to marital property. When commingling assets, it will be important to draw those boundaries as well as consider what you want to have happen to those assets should you pass away–such as passing them to children from the first marriage.
- 3. Trusts: You and your new spouse may have children from previous relationships. You’ll want to consider how you will care for them in the future should you no longer be able to. Creating a trust for their benefit will help protect their rights and fulfill your financial goals. In addition, a trust will allow you and your ex to determine when your children can receive their inheritance–do they have to wait for both parents to pass or just the passing of one when the trust becomes available? A trust will also protect children from prior relationships to avoid disinheritance.
- 4. Shared Homestead: Blended families are common, yet complicated. If a new marriage results in a partner moving into a shared family home that resulted from divorce, issues can arise if the spouse who originally had ownership of the home passes, and the children want their childhood home back. Establishing wishes within an estate plan can ensure both your new spouse and children are taken care of during their lifetimes.
Marriage after a divorce is a wonderful thing, growing families together and starting a new life. But when you neglect to restructure your estate plans, it can quickly become contentious and complex. But it doesn’t have to be.
Estate Planning For Second Marriages: MHPS Law
At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, our Nashville estate planning attorneys will guide you through the process with the compassion needed. With years of experience in estate planning and administration, we know how to best protect your assets and prepare for the unknown.
If you’re ready to create a trust, set up a power of attorney, or write your will to match your new life circumstances, we’re here to help. Contact us at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC now for more information. It’s what we do.