Discussing finances should be a priority before remarriage.
You have been married before.
Whether through death or divorce, your first marriage ended.
You are now preparing to marry again.
According to a recent Investopedia article titled “Second Marriage Financial Matters to Consider,” you should address several financial matters before you walk down the aisle.
What are they?
Assets and Liabilities
These include stocks, bonds, bank accounts, cars, insurance, investments, homes, and retirement plans.
You will also have liabilities.
These include credit cards debt, loans, and mortgages.
If you had children from your first marriage, this could also include child support.
You should talk about who will own what assets and how debts will be handled.
If you live in a state with community property laws, assets are assumed to be jointly owned.
Daily Financial Management
You will both need to know how money is managed.
Some people choose to merge their finances completely.
If you choose to keep separate accounts, you should at the very least create a joint checking account.
After both contributing a certain amount each month, you will pay shared bills from this account.
Some accounts are passed directly to beneficiaries named in the plan.
These include insurance policies and retirement accounts.
If you would like your new spouse to be the recipient of these funds, you will need to update your beneficiaries.
Update Your Estate Plan
Getting remarried means you will be faces significant life changes.
You should updated your will.
Blended families bring their own considerations and challenges to estate planning.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to meet your specific circumstances.
Trusts and Trustees
Trusts can be beneficial in transferring money to your children and a second spouse.
It allows you to set guidelines on asset distribution.
By giving an independent trustee discretion to make adjustments, he or she can make choices to treat all heirs fairly (if not equally).
Finances are an important part of marriage.
Do not delay having these conversations.
Love may be blind, but you should go into any marriage with both eyes open.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Investopedia (May 29, 2018) “Second Marriage Financial Matters to Consider”