When you go through a divorce it can be difficult to imagine that you’ll ever find love and be happy again. So when you meet someone out of the blue, you may feel beyond lucky. However, it’s important that you don’t let your newfound bliss overpower your estate planning needs. Since estate planning for blended families and new marriages can be more complicated, it’s important that you speak with your soon-to-be spouse regarding certain important issues.
1. Talk about a prenuptial agreement.
Although they haven’t always received the best reputation, prenuptial agreements can be a very positive experience. Prenups are not an indication that either of you is uncertain about the future of your union. Rather, they are put in place to protect each of your finances and goals. You may look at a prenup as a reflection of your trust in the other person and your love for them rather than any of their belongings. While prenups are great for any marriage, they are very beneficial for subsequent marriages since your finances and goals can be more complex.
2. Discuss ownership of property.
You may have heard the phrase, “what’s yours is mine.” And while some couples do in fact share certain assets, some property remains separate. That’s why it’s important that you establish which property belongs to whom before your marriage. This can also be a great tool for discussing finances and what each of you expects the other to contribute to any joint accounts. Separate accounts and property can be very beneficial for paying for personal expenses such as children from a previous marriage or relationship.
3. Maintain your medical documents.
Knowing that your loved ones could be at odds and in conflict with one another is devastating, even more so when your death is the cause. By making medical decisions for yourself you take the pressure off of your loved ones concerning your wishes in any given medical situation. By deciding for yourself what you want, you can help to prevent two parties, such as your current spouse and your child from a previous marriage from becoming entangled in any type of argument. At such an emotionally turbulent time taking the guessing out of the situation can make all the difference. That’s why it’s so important to always maintain your medical documents.
4. Look over your estate planning documents.
While some families will fight over money, it’s often arguments over-sentimental property that causes the biggest conflict after a loved one’s passing. By continuing to look over and update your will over time, you can ensure that the right people receive the proper possessions. This is very important when you are considering getting married again. In your trust, you can also include whom you wish to receive what and when. If you fail to include certain people in your estate planning documents, they will receive nothing. While the state will distribute assets to certain loved ones, individuals such as stepchildren and former stepchildren will not receive anything if you don’t specifically include them.
5. Contact a qualified VA estate planning attorney.
As you can see, estate planning can be a complicated process that can lead to unsavory results if not handled properly. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia estate planning attorney who can help to ensure that your wishes are properly established so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones in the future.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA with their Estate Planning Needs
At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, our estate planning attorneys understand the importance of protecting your goals and wishes and will work diligently to make sure that your comprehensive estate plan accounts for their proper execution. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Estate planning/Trusts