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New York & North Carolina

Estate Planning after Remarriage – 10 Things You Need to Consider


Remarriage is a regular occurrence in the U.S., in fact one-third of marriages are remarriages. Unfortunately, remarriages can present numerous estate planning complications that must be given careful consideration and addressed properly. Here’s a list of 10 potential estate planning issues that every newly remarried couple should consider:

  • Discuss long-term financial goals. How and when do you hope to retire? How would you like provide for each other?
  • Discuss plans for leaving assets to children, other family members, or charities.
  • Consider any financial or other contractual obligations from previous divorce agreements.
  • Review wills and trusts from previous marriages to determine how they might impact future estate planning.
  • Review assets and property. Decide which assets need to be kept separate and which will be considered joint assets.
  • Research the marital property laws of the state you live in. A community property state generally assumes that both spouses equally own all marital property and it will be split equally in a divorce.
  • Review social security benefits carefully. Remarriage can affect benefits especially if you or your spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record.
  • Update your beneficiary designations on retirement and life insurance accounts.
  • Don’t forget to consider disability and long-term care planning. Medicaid will consider the combined assets of the couple as “available assets” to pay for the care of an ill spouse.
  • Put your estate plan in writing. Consider seeking the professional advice of a financial advisor or estate planning attorney.