Marriages come with many changes, and you should update your estate plan to reflect this happy event in your life. However, if you or your spouse have children from a prior relationship, you should take additional steps to protect their inheritance.
Who will act as guardian to your children?
If your children are underage, you should discuss guardianship with your new spouse. If you pass away, will your child’s other parent be able to take custody of their children? If they are unwilling or unable to care for your children, will your new spouse act as guardian to their stepchildren? Should you name another trusted person to care for your children if you pass away? The guardian you name in your will should be someone that you trust to do what is best for your children, even if
Consider ways to protect your children’s inheritance.
While you and your spouse may intend to treat each other’s children fairly, those plans may not be enough to protect your child’s inheritance. For example, joint ownership of assets could unintentionally disinherit your children if you pass away before your spouse. Because of this, you and your spouse should consider strategies that protect your children’s inheritance.
One way to protect your children’s inheritance is to establish a trust. Placing assets in trusts protects them from any issues that may arise if you pass away before your spouse. You can also detail your wishes for when your child receives the assets in trust, allowing you to provide college funds after their high school graduation, for example.
You should also consider which family heirlooms or other specific items should go to each child. Consider listing these items specifically in your will so that your plan is as comprehensive as possible.
If you wonder how to protect your children in your estate plan after a second marriage, be sure to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. They can help you create a strategy that provides for all your loved ones in the future and gives you peace of mind today.