Making key financial and legal decisions before you remarry should be a priority.
You are getting remarried.
Weddings are fun.
They are times of celebrating the love of your life with the ones you love.
Weddings also take planning.
Deciding on food, colors, invitations, and a venue takes time.
According to a recent Nasdaq article titled “Getting Remarried? 5 Financial Steps to Take Before Tying the Knot (Again),” you should not let wedding preparations distract you from important planning for your marriage ... especially if this is not your first marriage.
What are some things you need to consider?
If you are getting remarried, you probably have more complex finances than those who are entering their first marriage.
Discuss and disclose any child support requirements, estate planning and tax strategies, and illiquid or liquid investments.
You should review assets and liabilities before you establish your consolidated net worth.
Sign a prenuptial (or postnuptial agreement).
No one thinks divorce is in their future when they get married.
Unfortunately, more and more Americans are getting divorced and remarried.
How do you protect the assets you bring into a marriage?
Through a prenuptial agreement.
Such an agreement can also ensure financial protection for your children and theirs should either of you predecease the other.
Granted, this legal planning is not romantic, but it is prudent and practical.
Remember your children.
Did you have children in your first marriage?
These children are a part of your family.
You will need to discuss with your new spouse just how you will be paying for child care, health care, tuition, and other expenses, let alone their inheritance.
Involving an attorney in this discussion can help ensure you cover all possible considerations.
Update your beneficiary designations.
Life insurance, IRAs, and certain bank accounts may be passed along directly to beneficiaries designated in their individual paperwork.
These will not automatically update to your new spouse.
And be especially mindful when it comes to any ERISA retirement plans (e.g., 401k, profit-sharing, etc)!
They will also take precedence over any instructions in your will.
Be sure to update your beneficiaries on all of these accounts and documents.
The last thing you want is for your ex-spouse to receive everything if you pass away to the exclusion of your new spouse and/or your own children.
Update your estate plan.
You may have created an estate plan in your previous marriage.
If you are getting remarried, that estate plan is most certainly out of date.
You should work with your estate planning attorney to update your will, health care directives, and your power of attorney.
By doing this you will be able to enjoy your wedding and honeymoon, knowing you are prepared for this next chapter of your life.
As I tell my clients who are remarrying, love may be blind but it is best to go into your new relationship with both eyes wide 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: Nasdaq (April 20, 2018) “Getting Remarried? 5 Financial Steps to Take Before Tying the Knot (Again)”