Regardless of how your old marriage ended, you now have a new person to share your life with. A remarriage opens up a whole new chapter in your life, and brings all sorts of changes with it. While you are busy adjusting to your new family dynamic, don’t forget to revise your estate plan to reflect your new situation, since your old one is probably largely inapplicable now. Here are a few of the most important things to consider.
Including your new wife and stepchildren
Make sure you name the newest members of your family specifically by name in your will. The last thing you want is for the court to strictly interpret phrases such as “all my children” to mean only your biological children, and leave your stepchildren out of your estate.
After the asset division portion of your divorce, you may not have the same assets you had when you created your will. Make sure that its terms reflect an accurate and updated list of what you own, and what you want to leave to whom.
Updating trusts, life insurance beneficiaries, etc.
It’s probable that your ex-spouse is listed as the beneficiary of any life insurance policy or retirement account you may have. Make sure to take prompt action to switch the beneficiary to your new spouse.
If you entered into your insurance policy prior to 1990, you’ll have to manually modify your beneficiary list. Don’t be like an Ohio man whose life insurance proceeds were paid to his ex-wife rather than to his current wife.
Also make sure to update any revocable trusts you may have established as part of your estate plan.
Starting a new family can be a wonderful experience, but there is also much to keep track of. Make sure that you don’t keep relying on an old and obsolete estate plan when your circumstances have changed drastically.