On behalf of Pakis, Giotes, Page & Burleson, P.C.
The Perfect Gift for A Second Wedding: An Estate Plan
You’re planning a beautiful Texas spring wedding. It’s the second wedding for both of you, so it will be small with just family, you figure.
Add into those preparations creating, or updating, your estate plan. If you don’t, your children could wind up disinherited.
“A conversation about estate planning is absolutely critical in remarriages,” a Connecticut certified financial planner told CNBC. “It’s emotional and hard to talk about, but the last thing you want to do is leave adult kids with a disaster.”
The older you get, the more assets you typically accumulate. So, if you remarry later in life, you likely have much you’d like to pass on to your children: saving accounts, investment and retirement accounts, life insurance, real estate and family treasures.
If you don’t have a will upon your death, the courts will decide how to divide your estate. And the judge might not make a choice you would like.
Consider the following when you remarry, and be sure to involve your attorney in your estate planning to make sure it’s done properly.
Your life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other financial documents could include the wrong beneficiary, such as your former spouse. The person named will receive the funds. Update those designations to include your new spouse, your children or someone else of your choosing. Note that by law, the beneficiary of your 401(k) must be your spouse unless they waive that right.
Your new spouse might be moving into your home, but their name isn’t on the title. Your attorney can advise you on how to leave your property to the person you want to have it. It’s more complex if the title isn’t listed as joint tenants with right of survivorship.
They might not be worth much money, but some family items can be worth a million dollars in sentimentality. Be as specific as possible in your estate about who you want to inherit certain items.
Create a Trust Account
A trust will keep your assets safe for your designated beneficiaries until which time you specify. They can receive money only the way you want them to, such as when they turn 30, buy a home or fund a college education.
Talking about death while starting a new life together doesn’t sound quite right, but it is one of the wisest steps you can take.