Florida Estate Planning For Second Marriage

In Florida it can be crucial to do Estate Planning For Second Marriage

More and more Americans are getting remarried which is causing estate planning to become more complex.  People are living much longer than in the past, which means that the rate of remarriage is occurring at a much higher frequency.  A second marriage adds new obligations and rights for the new people in your life, while still keeping the obligations from your first marriage.

The effect of multiple marriages is that it could create multiple claims on a person’s estate.  Many estate planning issues can be resolved with careful planning.  Here are some key issues for estate planning for a second marriage.

1. Length of the New Marriage

The first issue that is common in estate planning is the duration of the subsequent marriage.  For instance, say a person has a spouse with early Alzheimer’s.  This person also has a retirement plan that named his children outside the marriage as beneficiaries.  The couple has been married for eight years, and the person would be destitute without the spouse’s IRA.  It may be time to think about changing the estate plan to include the new spouse, which would desperately need the funds from the retirement plan.

2. Children from the First Marriage or outside the current marriage

Another issue with a second marriage is how the children of a first marriage will be affected.  A great deal of thought should be given to what the children of the first marriage should receive should their parent be the first spouse to pass away in the new marriage.  Great care should be given for all children to be included, because otherwise, the default rules may leave some children without an inheritance or the surviving spouse may not receive enough assets to live.

3. Prenuptial Agreements

Second marriages often come with prenuptial agreements, which is an agreement beforehand between the spouses of what occurs in the event of a divorce.  These agreements are great and often provide stability and ease the concerns of persons that have been through rough divorces.  The estate planner, when drafting an estate plan, must also take these agreements into account. For instance, we often draft estate plans that allow one spouse to provide a life estate in a vacation home to the surviving spouse.  A prenuptial agreement may prevent this from occurring. Therefore it is important that an experienced estate planning attorney account for these agreements.

4.  Trusts can solve many of the problems

The main goal when estate planning for a second marriage is to ensure that your spouse and family are taken care after death.  There are a variety of ways to do this, and one of the most effective ways is through trusts.  For example, say Emily marries Rodger and Emily is the much wealthier individual.  Emily decided that she wanted her second marriage to be for love, and didn’t care that Rodger didn’t make much money.  Emily wants to leave Rodger money in the event she dies first.  Rodger is a simple man and doesn’t need much during his lifetime.  He has one child, but the child is well off and doesn’t need an inheritance, while Emily has two children that could use the money as well.

There are many solutions when using trusts. The estate planning attorney must often create a trust that will permit the surviving spouse to benefit from the trust, but not loose  the funds to creditors, a bankrupcty, a future spouse, long-term car, nursing home, or liablity from a lawsuit.  While most families do not want to control from the grave, it may be prudent to protect your family from the grave by using a properly drafted trust.

This example shows how flexible estate planning can be even if a person has multiple marriages.  What is important is that you plan now so the people you care about can be taken care of after your death.  For more information on estate planning for a second marriage contact  Jacksonville estate planning attorney David M. Goldman today.

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