Getting divorced changes your life and your family, especially if you have young children. For many people, divorce has an impact on their estate as well. If you have met someone else and fallen in love, you may be thinking about remarrying or may have already tied the knot.
Just like you likely updated your estate plan when you decided to divorce, you should also update it now that you have a new spouse. There are certain unique considerations that will impact how you structure your estate plan for a second or subsequent marriage.
Blended families require more careful consideration when planning for your estates because the tension in these families can often lead to court challenges when people feel disappointed or surprised by an estate plan.
Do you have children from a previous relationship?
One of the most important considerations when you plan your estate is ensuring that you can provide for your spouse as well as your children. The tension between children and stepparents can often lead to either party contesting the terms of the estate plan in court if they believe the terms are not fair.
For example, if you leave behind a last will that leaves next to nothing for your spouse, they may challenge the will. The same is true if your children find themselves completely disinherited in favor of a new spouse. You should carefully consider the needs of the people in your life.
Is your spouse financially dependent on you? Do your children have financial burdens such as student loans that an inheritance could help with? It can be hard to balance the needs of each party, but careful planning should consider the best interest of everyone and will benefit you and the people you love.
Be forthcoming about your intentions with everyone
Talking about your estate plan with your family members may not be the most pleasant of conversations, but it is absolutely necessary. It is especially important that you let your family members know of any changes you have made to your last will as a result of your new marriage.
Your spouse and your children, as well as any other dependents or beneficiaries, should all understand your intentions now that you have a new partner in your life. They can adjust their expectations accordingly. Even if they initially feel upset, they will probably have accepted your wishes by the time you pass.
The more people know about your estate plan and wishes, the less likely they are to feel shocked when they read the terms of your will. Reducing shock and being open about your plans is one way to reduce the risk of your family members challenging your estate plan.