A Faith-Based Law Firm

Attorney Jadinah Gustave

Estate planning with a blended family

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Estate Planning

Getting married for the second time is a significant life event that will ideally trigger a review of your existing Florida estate plan. Unless your assets are held in a trust, they may be considered part of the new marital estate absent updates to a will or other relevant documents. This may mean that assets would go to your spouse as opposed to a child from your previous marriage or another intended beneficiary.

Review beneficiary designations

Reviewing and updating your beneficiary designations is important because they take precedence over anything written in your will. For instance, if your former spouse is the beneficiary of your 401(k), your former spouse gets that account if you pass even if your will says that your current spouse should get it. Reviewing these forms during an estate planning session may also ensure that bank accounts, brokerage accounts or other items are transferred to your children or other intended beneficiaries.

Update or create your will

If you don’t have a will, your new spouse will likely inherit most of the belongings held in your estate. There is also a chance that your spouse’s kids will also inherit a portion of your estate even if you never intended for that to happen. Updating your will may also be a good idea if you have children with your new spouse to ensure that they are adequately cared for if you pass before they reach the age of majority.

Update your trust

After getting remarried, you may want to remove your former spouse as an alternate trustee of your living trust. This may ensure that someone who is no longer in your life can’t manage your affairs or have any say in how your children’s inheritance is distributed.

Reviewing or updating your estate plan after a major life event minimizes the risk of your final wishes being ignored or carried out in a delayed manner. Most estate plan documents can be changed or revoked at any time as long as you are of sound mind.