Estate plan considerations for a second marriage

When deciding to marry again after divorce, updating your estate plan can ensure it continues to meet your needs. Conversely, a failure to review and change important documents can have unintended consequences.

These are the key estate planning factors to consider when entering a second marriage in North Carolina.

Designated beneficiaries

Even if you have updated your will to include your new spouse, it does not guarantee that he or she will inherit the intended assets. If you have listed a different beneficiary on a life insurance policy, investment account or retirement account, that person will receive the funds when you die no matter whose name appears on the will. Update the beneficiaries on these accounts if necessary.

Future generations

If either you or your spouse has children from another relationship or if you plan to have children together, discuss how to pass along your marital and separate assets fairly. Putting these intentions in writing prevents assets from following North Carolina intestate laws for inheritance, which may leave out stepchildren or other loved ones.

Asset-protection trusts

The flexibility of revocable trusts makes them a valuable estate planning tool. You create the trust with legal documents that establish your wishes for the assets held in the trust. Then, you can transfer assets, including cash, investments, property and real estate, to the ownership of the trust.

Many families use trusts to manage money for children until they reach an age of maturity. Before remarrying, you can establish a trust as separate property in a premarital agreement.

Review your estate plan with these three considerations in mind when marrying a second spouse in Colorado.