Disinheritance Following a Second Marriage

The remarriage rate has decreased over time for all individuals except those individuals who are 55 and older. For people who remarry but who also want to make sure that children from a first or previous marriage receive certain assets, it is vital to engage in estate planning as well as to exercise caution. 


Otherwise, there is a risk that you might end up accidentally disinheriting your children. As a result, it is a good idea to follow some important estate planning to make sure that your children are not accidentally disinherited during the estate planning process.


# 1 – Engage in an Estate Planning Conversation


All people who engage in estate planning must have a conversation about their estate planning goals. Even though conversations about this subject can be emotional and difficult, they avoid leaving your children facing unwanted complications. 


These conversations need not go into specific dollar amounts but it can be a good idea to manage the expectations of your loved ones. If your children or new spouse are not certain about what to expect if you pass away, conflict will likely arise. 


# 2 – Understand Why Estate Planning Conflicts Arise


The reason why estate planning is so important for individuals who are over the age of 55 and entering into a second marriage is that these individuals are likely bringing many assets into the marriage including brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, real estate, and retirement savings. 


Many times, these individuals also own family heirlooms that they want to make sure are passed on to specific beneficiaries. Estate planning is the best tool to avoid unwanted complications with these assets. 


# 3 – Make Sure to Write A Will


Wills are the backbone of successful estate plans. If a person dies without a will, the court will decide how that individual’s estate is divided following New York probate law. 


Not only does the probate process mean that your wishes will not influence asset distribution, but it also means that the process will take a longer time than is necessary and result in additional costs. 


# 4 – Know What Strategies Can Protect Children


There are some important strategies to implement to make sure that beneficiaries end up with the assets that a parent wants them to receive. These strategies include:



  • Account beneficiaries. It is important to update beneficiary designations on retirement accounts because whoever is listed as a beneficiary will receive these assets after you pass away. No estate planning tool is capable of overriding matters if you appoint an incorrect beneficiary. 
  • Trusts. If you want your children to receive certain assets but do not want young adults to a substantial fortune, a trust can be a good idea to pass on assets. Trusts hold assets for beneficiaries and a third party is tasked with distributing assets to the beneficiaries.



Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Remember to exercise caution can avoid many estate planning complications. Another way to greatly reduce the risks associated with this process is to retain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today for help.

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