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Estate planning for second marriages

Many couples in Southeast Alaska are in their second (or third+) marriage. Although a new marriage can be a fresh start from the death or divorce of a spouse there are important things for a couple to consider when it comes to estate planning.

Remarriage can bring up a number of estate planning questions. These can include:

  • What assets will be left to each of the children.
  • Does a couple plan on having additional children with each other and what assets will be saved for them.
  • Are there any assets that will be retitled in the couple’s name such as home, vacation homes, bank accounts.
  • Is there a will that needs to be updated?
  • Did either spouse bring in debts to the marriage?
  • Which assets will each spouse keep in their own names.

There are also things a remarried couple should do with their estate planning. Besides making sure they have the appropriate estate planning documents in place they should also make sure their beneficiary designations have been updated. They should also make sure they have addressed any gaps in their estate plan. This includes making sure there is a will, trust, life insurance, long-term care insurance and health care directives are in place.

An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help their client through their estate planning needs. They understand that every family has unique estate planning needs that should be addressed. Remarried couples often have a more complicated estate plan because of their assets they bring to the marriage along with any children from previous marriages. An attorney can help address these issues and make sure the estate plan is in place.