It is not uncommon for people in Florida to get married more than one time during their life. A second marriage may follow a previous divorce or the death of a first spouse. Regardless of the reason, these marriages give people a second chance at long and happy relationships. However, remarriages may also pose unique issues when it comes time to update or create an estate plan.
As explained by AARP, estate planning for a blended family requires a careful review of many factors. The couple should clearly outline what assets and liabilities each spouse is bringing into the marriage and make a plan for what things will become comingled and what, if anything, may remain the separate property or responsibility of one party.
Fidelity Investments recommends that both partners have an open and frank conversation about their future wishes in regard to caring for each other and leaving assets for their biological children or grandchildren. When trying to balance these things, it may be wise to investigate some types of trusts that are designed for these situations. It may be possible to allow a surviving spouse to receive income for the remainder of their life yet still retain some inheritance for the first spouse’s children.
In addition to identifying heirs, accounts that have death beneficiaries should be factored into the equation. These accounts may provide simple ways to accommodate multiple parties without undue complexity. If one spouse has a responsibility to a former spouse, perhaps as part of a divorce decree, this should also be disclosed and accounted for in a final estate plan.