Understanding the Impact of Second Marriages on your Estate Plan

Second Marriages and Your Estate Plan.

Your love life may not have always been smooth sailing but eventually you find that perfect soul mate and decide to marry again. Your children from your first marriage are grown and on their own and while you plan to leave them part of your estate you never get around to signing those important estate planning documents. What could possibly go wrong? Lots. There are certain items to consider when it comes to second marriages and your estate plan.

Let’s assume Steve and Angela have two kids and after 15 years together they decide to divorce. Years later, Steve marries Beth who has a child of her own, Ben. Steve never executes a will and lives in a community property state like Nevada. His share of all assets accumulated during his second marriage will automatically transfer entirely to Beth and nothing may be distributed for the benefit of Steve’s other two children.

There’s an easy solution that can ensure that a second spouse is taken care of AND your children are not disinherited after your passing. The answer is a revocable living trust that becomes irrevocable after Steve dies. Steve and Beth can make changes to the trust any time they are alive, but once Steve dies the terms become irrevocable. There are many different ways to craft your estate planning documents to fit your specific needs. The point is you must do this pre-planning ahead of time with a trusted and experienced estate planning attorney.

For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.