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

Estate planning and second marriages

New York couples planning a second marriage, especially one later in life, have many significant estate planning concerns to think through on their road to wedded bliss. For people who have spent their lives gathering assets and investments, remarriage can be far more complex. Considering a few estate planning guidelines along the way can help avoid misunderstandings or costly financial errors.

Couples who have joint income and assets may have real concerns if one partner has a divorce settlement that keeps them connected to a former spouse. It also could be important to keep finances separate in the case of a party having an old debt, as creditors are not bound by the provisions of a divorce settlement or decree.

New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that property division takes into account a series of concerns, including property at the time of marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse and other factors. Title to property is an important, but not binding factor. When going into a new marriage, it could be important for both parties to update their existing estate plans. Inheritances and trusts that protect assets for children are additional estate planning considerations that are especially important for remarriages later in life. Explicit instructions in wills and the creation of trusts can be used to protect assets for the benefit of both partners' children, ensuring their estate planning visions remain intact.

When planning a second marriage later in life, involving an estate planning lawyer in the conversation can be important. A lawyer could provide guidance and resources to help a client shape the documents in a manner that helps to protect and preserve the estate assets.

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