Does a new marriage mean you need a new estate plan?

Remarriage can be an exciting time for a North Carolina family, but like other significant life events, it can also signal significant financial changes. In the event that you are getting married for a second or subsequent time, you would be smart to make plans beyond where you want to honeymoon and what flavor of cake you should have; you should also make appropriate financial plans.

Your estate plan is likely not at the forefront of your mind during this time, but it is prudent to ensure that the plans you have in place match your current and future circumstances. Failure to have new plans drafted or existing plans adjusted could result in complications for both you and your loved ones.

The benefits of a trust

If you already have a will, medical directives and powers of attorney established, you may simply need to adjust those plans to match your circumstances after your new marriage. However, if you wish to protect children from a previous marriage or ensure that other matters are cared for in light of your new circumstances, you may benefit from a trust.

The most common type of trust that you may consider is a revocable trust, also known as a living trust. This sets aside and protects assets and property for specified beneficiaries. There are several different types of trusts, which include:

  • Special needs trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • Pet trusts

There are certainly more options available, and the best choice for you depends on your unique financial situation and your legal objectives. You will find great benefit in working with a lawyer to set up a trust to help you specifically address the following concerns:

  • Setting aside money for children from a previous marriage
  • Providing college savings and inheritance for future children
  • Ensuring the care and stability of a special needs child
  • Setting aside money for charitable giving or non-profit organization

A living trust means that it will go into effect during your lifetime. You will have the right to control and manage assets within the trust until your death, upon which an appointed trustee will distribute assets and property according to the terms of the trust.

Aligning your estate plans with your new marital status is an important step toward ensuring the full protection of both you and your loved ones. An updated estate plan and establishment of trusts can provide peace of mind and allow you to move forward, confident in the future.

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