What California residents should know about estate planning

| Dec 11, 2020 | blog, estate planning | 0 comments

The circumstances that lead to a second or third marriage tend to be significantly different than those that compel you to marry your original spouse. For instance, there is a good chance that both you and your new spouse have children or are bringing significant assets into the union. Therefore, your estate planning needs will likely change after remarrying.

Be sure to keep a child’s inheritance separate

Any assets that are commingled with your new spouse may be deemed joint property even if you owned them prior to the marriage. To prevent a child’s inheritance from becoming commingled, it may be a good idea to put it in a trust. It may also in your best interest to create a prenuptial agreement that stipulates which items are to remain separate property if the relationship ends.

Review and update agent designations

Generally speaking, your spouse will serve as your medical or financial agent if you become incapacitated for any reason. However, it may also be possible for an adult child to serve in this role. Regardless of your choice, it is important to make it before you get into an accident or experience cognitive decline. At that point, it may be too late to make your new wishes known, and a court may be required to allow a former spouse or estranged relative to oversee your affairs.

Review and update your will

It is a good idea to review your will at least once a year to ensure that it still meets your needs. After remarrying, you’ll likely want to disinherit your former spouse or other former extended family members.

A marriage is a significant life event that should trigger an automatic review of your estate plan. An estate planning attorney may be able to help go over a will, trust or other documents to make sure that they reflect your wishes and conform to state law.