Estate planning is an ongoing, dynamic process. As relevant life events take place your existing estate plan must be updated. If you go even a single day without a properly constructed estate plan you are taking a significant risk.
And, you will not be around to suffer the consequences. It would be your family members who would pay the price.
Getting remarried is one of these life-changing events that can trigger the need for some estate plan adjustments. One thing to consider will be the beneficiaries that you have on your insurance policies and perhaps some bank accounts and/or brokerage accounts.
If you have existing powers of attorney you may want to ask yourself if you want to change your attorneys-in-fact.
There is also the matter of the delineation of personal assets. Many people who get remarried do not feel entirely comfortable with the prospect of merging assets. By executing a prenuptial agreement the financial interests of both parties can be protected.
Those who have children from existing marriages may want to take particular steps. One way to proceed would be to execute a qualified terminable interest property trust after entering into a prenuptial agreement.
These trusts are set up to provide income to the surviving spouse for the rest of his or her life. However, he or she has no control over who inherits the principal. As a grantor who wants to protect the interests of your children you can make them the beneficiaries, and your children would eventually inherit the remainder that is left in the trust after your surviving spouse’s death.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.