Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

3 ways previous marriages can affect your estate plan

Blended families and previous spouses can make the estate planning process more complicated than you think. You might want to include your previous spouse in your estate plan, especially if you have children together. You also need to consider any stepchildren from your current spouse, and the dynamic between all members of your family.

While an experienced estate law attorney can walk you through these challenges, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your estate.

1. You could have multiple sets of children.

In addition to any children from your current relationship, you or your spouse might also have children from a previous one. Consider how you and your spouse plan to divide your assets, and communicate this with all your children.

Also consider those assets that pass outside your will. If you forget to change the beneficiary on your retirement account or life insurance policy, it could completely leave out some of your children. A proper plan and clear communication can help prevent any conflict among your children when you pass.

2. There might be wealth disparities between family members.

When planning your estate, keep in mind any differences in wealth between you, your current spouse and any previous spouses. While you may want to provide more for your current family, it may be best to establish a trust to help support any children from a previous relationship.

You might also want to establish a trust for any stepchildren if your current spouse does not have the means to care for them alone. Discuss your plans among your family so nobody is surprised by any of them after your death.

3. You might have agreements from your previous marriage.

If you have any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements from a previous marriage, they may affect how you allocate your assets in your new estate plan. Some agreements can obligate you to support your previous spouse in the event of your death.

While blended families often have more estate planning factors to consider, a seasoned attorney can navigate you through the process, helping you minimize conflict among your family after you pass.

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