Creating an estate plan after a second marriage

Parents in Texas who are entering into second marriages may want to make sure their estate plans are revised to allow their children to inherit some of their assets. Older adults who remarry may have accumulated assets of significant monetary or sentimental value that they want to leave to their children. However, without an estate plan, assets might pass to the new spouse.

One of the most common areas where mistakes occur is with beneficiary designations. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies are passed in this way. Beneficiary designations override wills and trusts, and people may forget to update them in the divorce. This could mean an ex-spouse receives these assets. With a 401(k), a legal spouse is automatically the beneficiary unless they give permission to name someone else. Some people may want to name their children from the previous marriage instead. People may want to talk to an attorney about the best way to ensure that their children inherit their share of the home.

It is best to be as specific as possible in the will about any items a person wants their children to inherit. In some cases, a trust may be a better choice than a will to protect assets for heirs. People may also want to make arrangements in case they become incapacitated.

A attorney might be able to help a person create an estate plan that works for them based on their individual circumstances. For example, people in second marriages who go on to have children with their second spouse might want to ensure that children from both relationships are able to inherit assets. A trust can allow a person to leave an inheritance for a loved one with special needs without affecting that person’s access to government benefits.