Remarrying? Estate Planning Considerations to Keep in Mind

When you remarry, you’re enjoying a second chance at a happy future with someone you love. However, there’s more to planning for this new partnership than booking a wedding venue and inviting guests. You should revisit your estate plan or take your new, extended family into account when putting one together.

Blended families are a positive thing.  If you have children from an earlier marriage, estate planning becomes more complicated. There are more potential beneficiaries, and if you don’t have a will, Minnesota intestacy laws can result in unexpected outcomes.

Sometimes things are complex enough to warrant an antenuptial agreement.  If you choose not to do an antenuptial agreement, there are a number of things you should review, check and change with any new marriage.

At Grabitske Law, we help clients create and manage estate plans that benefit their growing and blended families. In this blog, we will go over some estate planning considerations you should keep in mind when you remarry.

  1. Ensure your will is up to date

Under Minnesota law, your divorce will automatically revoke any provision in your will that names your former spouse as a devisee. Your assets will pass to the devisees designated to receive them in the same manner they would have if your former spouse had predeceased you. 

Your will should be updated after you remarry. If your new spouse has children and you want those children to inherit, you need to include them in your will. This way, you can designate which family member receives which assets; potentially reducing hurt feelings and infighting that can result when wills are outdated.

  1. Update beneficiaries for nonprobate assets

Minnesota is a state where divorce revokes beneficiary designations for nonprobate assets such as life insurance and retirement plans. If your former spouse is listed as beneficiary on these assets, you should change all designations to reflect your changed circumstances.  If the designation is not changed, it is possible that a financial company may pay out nonprobate assets to your former spouse if they do not have information on the divorce.

When you marry someone you should update your beneficiary designations for all life insurance, retirement and financial accounts.  This process makes sure your assets go to the individuals you want to have them after you die.

  1. Update guardianship arrangements for minor children

If you have minor children from your first marriage, it’s important to address custody in your will. Although you hope it will never be the case, an accident could happen to both parents.  It’s advisable to name a backup guardian in your will.

  1. Update powers of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal arrangement authorizing another person to act on your behalf in financial and other matters. 

If you have a power of attorney and your spouse is your attorney-in-fact, their authority is automatically terminated upon divorce. You should designate another attorney-in-fact to keep the arrangement valid and avoid the future cost and complications of a conservatorship proceeding. Your documents should be updated to reflect the new attorney-in-fact.

Contact a Minnesota Estate Planning Attorney

There are many estate planning considerations raised by remarriage.At Grabitske Law, we can help you review your current plan or create a new one, so that your assets are distributed the way you want them to be. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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Grabitske Law Firm, PLC

For nearly two decades, Paul Grabitske has been helping clients with their legal issues in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration, business law, agricultural law and litigation.

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