Mesa AZ | Second Marriage Tips: Estate Planning Considerations

Here are some second marriage tips: estate planning considerations. Things can get a whole lot more complicated the second time around when you get married.  Record numbers of individuals may be facing the possibility of second marriage.  There are several different legal issues you need to consider during this process.

Remember to Include the New Spouse

First of all, you need to think about how the new spouse will be provided for in your estate plan.  There are usually competing interests here in the form of the new spouse and adult children.  There are expectations that assets accumulated in the first marriage will typically be for the benefit of children in that marriage.   That being said, your new spouse may not have sufficient assets to provide for his or her retirement needs in the event that he or she is widowed.

The typical compromise solution for this is to put assets in trust for the lifetime benefit of the surviving spouse.  The surviving spouse would be eligible to receive income from trust assets.  After the survivor passes away, the trust would terminate and all remaining assets would be given to the adult children of the first to die.

Consider Children from the First Marriage

Especially with blended families, a second marriage raises a lot of questions about existing documents like wills and trust executed prior to the second marriage.  You might also wish to consider use of tools like a trust or a restated trust to accomplish your goals of taking care of the children from the first marriage and providing for your surviving spouse.   These matters can get a bit complicated so you may be well served to visit with your Arizona estate planning attorney to discuss what would make the most sense for your situation.  Sometimes it is what you don’t know or what you don’t consider that can create unanticipated problems for you or your family.

Remember the Home

In a second marriage situation, you should also consider the roof over your head. The primary residence is usually titled in one party’s name.   Careful thought should be given to the survivors’ living arrangements if the owner of the home were to pass away.   One such option to handle this is to give the non-owner survivor a life estate in the home.  A better solution might be to give the surviving spouse a right of occupancy in the house.  A trust can address these issues and others like, who has the responsibility for the payment of taxes, maintenance and insurance on the property.

General Documents: Prenups and Postnups

You may also wish to consider a  premarital or a post-nuptial agreement upon your second marriage in the state of Arizona.  Consulting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney may be very beneficial for answering your primary questions about this and determining the unique situations that arise when a person gets married for the second time.  A little planning can reduce the potential for disputes in the event the marriage is unsuccessful or upon the passing of a spouse.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Second Marriage Tips: Estate Planning Considerations, or any other estate planning matters, please feel free to contact Stephen L. West at 480.461.5341, or Curtis M. Chipman at 480.461.5329. You can also log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.