The Important Step That’s Sometimes Forgetten

If you are getting remarried there are a few additional things you need to consider since your first marriage. One of those things is changing your estate plan and will. Modifications need to be made noting of changes since your divorce and if you are gaining step-children that you want involved. Check out this informative article highlighting what else you should consider regarding your estate plan.

Revise your power of attorney and health care directives. More documents to update, if you don’t want an ex-spouse as your agent. Already switched? “Make sure the power of attorney lists who they want as guardian,” said Scroggin. Otherwise, he said, a new spouse or other relative may be able to successfully petition a court for guardianship even if he or she is not the listed agent on the power of attorney.

Watch titling. Another case where your will won’t matter: Assets titled as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety or community property with rights of survivorship pass automatically to the surviving owner. Review existing assets to ensure ties with an ex-spouse are severed, Fosselman said.

If you want certain accounts or property to go to someone other than your spouse, title those accordingly, he said — or keep them separate as you merge finances.

Use prenups, postnups and waivers. Such agreements can often be worded to limit the rights automatically afforded to spouses, such as the right to take an elective share in your estate even if they are not mentioned in the will.

Account for personal property. Tangible personal property often ends up with the new spouse. If you want to make sure your family heirlooms or other items of sentimental value go to a specific person, specify that in your will, Scroggin said. But he warned that even with a mention, it can be hard for heirs to prove which property you intended to pass on.