With the high divorce rate all over the nation, it’s quite common for people to marry more than once. While it’s a regular enough occurrence, there are a lot of complications that can come with a second marriage which people may not consider right away. These involve family issues, child raising issues, financial ones, and, of course, estate planning issues.
If you’ve had an estate plan with your first spouse, and you need to readjust for the new relationship, it can raise a whole range of issues that go with the blended family. It’s important to carefully consider these potential issues so that you can address them properly when the time comes. Here’s a look at remarriage and estate planning, the issues that can arise, and the steps you need to take to address these complications properly.
Remarriage and Estate Planning
When it comes to remarriage and estate planning, issues of ownership and expenses come into sharp focus. If you still have financial entanglements with an ex-spouse, you could end up with issues when you try to combine your finances with your new spouse.
While many couples set up joint bank accounts to cover expenses and pay bills, commingling assets can cause issues — especially when it comes to creditors. Creditors aren’t necessarily bound by your divorce settlement, which means they may be able to come after commingled finances with your new spouse.
Ohio is a marriage property state, meaning that any property you acquire during the course of a marriage is co-owned between both spouses. This means that there can be issues dividing property, and can create problems when it comes time to create or modify an existing estate plan.
Trusts to Protect Assets
There can also be issues if your spouse re-marries after you die. This can cause assets to commingle. If you want to protect assets for your children after you die, you may want to consider setting up a trust to keep specific assets separate and benchmarked for their care and well-being.
Timing of Inheritance
Inheritance can be a big issue. For example, if you have children, what happens when one spouse dies? Do the children have to wait for the second spouse to pass away as well? Again, a trust can be an excellent option to insure that some of the assets you intend to earmark for your kids go to them, when they need it.
Other Family Considerations
There are plenty of other family considerations that can come into play when dealing with estate plans and blended families. For many people, a trust is a great way to protect those assets you want to protect. In the end, however, every estate plan is unique, just as every family’s needs are unique.
It’s important to have the right legal counsel to help you determine the right path to take when establishing an estate plan for your blended family, or modifying an existing estate plan to account for the change in status when you get remarried. An experienced estate planning attorney can be your best bet to update your plan and protect your assets.
If you are in Cuyahoga County, OH, and you need help with remarriage and estate planning, call Stano Law Firm for help today.