Till Death Do Us Part…Again. Estate Planning for Second Marriages
Perhaps you are remarried, and now not only have a new spouse and a bright future, you also have a new, blended, extended family, including stepchildren. While there can be much joy involved in a second marriage and having a blended family, along with some normal bumps and bruises along the way, it is likely you now need to consider estate planning. In most second marriages, both spouses bring different assets into the marriage, and may have completely different objectives regarding passing those assets to loved ones upon their death. Since many times these objectives can be at odds with your new spouse—often to the complete shock and surprise of those involved—it may be time to discuss such matters openly as a couple with an experienced Virginia estate planning attorney who can express your intentions in a concise manner through the legal documents which make up your estate plan.
Getting Ready to Talk to an Estate Planning AttorneyBefore you make an appointment with your chosen estate planning attorney, find a quiet time to sit down with your new spouse, and talk about your financial goals, how you expect to provide for one another should tragedy strike, and how you expect the assets you brought into the marriage, as well as the marital assets you are accruing, to be left to your children and/or others. Typically, couples find financial issues the very hardest subjects to discuss, and if you believe the conversation is simply going to be too uncomfortable, consider including a trusted financial adviser or estate planning attorney who can help take the emotion out of the subject, and facilitate the meeting. During this conversation with your new spouse, you will need to discuss the following at a minimum:
- Your long-term financial goals;
- How you hope to provide for one another, biological children and stepchildren, and other family members;
- Any contractual or financial obligations you may have with your ex, as detailed in your divorce decree, and
- Guardianship issues for any minor children in the home.