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Estate Planning for Second Marriages

Smart Planning for Your Blended Family's Future

While second marriages can be wonderful things, they can also present unique challenges during the estate planning process. You and your spouse may have children together as well as children from previous relationships, and each of you likely brought your own set of properties and assets to the relationship. You may be happy and content in your second marriage, but like most people, you may want to provide for your spouse's needs while ensuring that much (or most) of your property goes to your children in the end.

There's no easy way about it, providing for everyone who you love can be tricky and challenging. You should never opt for a cookie-cutter estate plan in this situation, you need a plan that is created specifically for your situation and your needs. You should never be without an estate plan in this situation because you will have no way of ensuring that any of your desires for your property and assets will be carried out after you are gone. Some people mistakenly think that their spouse and children will "work it out", but this rarely happens in a peaceful or stress-free manner.

Starting the Estate Planning Process

In order to start planning for the future of your estate, you should enlist the help of a legal professional who can keep the matter in confidence while working to set up a plan that is aligned with your desires. You should then take some personal time to figure out what your most important estate planning goals are, and what you would like to have happen with your assets once you pass away. You should take into consideration items like your car, jewelry, house, and other personal items like investments, insurance, retirement plans, and even brokerage accounts. This might take a good deal of time, so pick a place that is quiet and free of distractions so that you can think through these things. It is also helpful to talk through your thoughts with your attorney.

Try to think through all possible scenarios such as who might pass away first and the varied reactions that your family members will have, regardless of how unpleasant or uncomfortable this mental process may be. Then, you should determine who you want to designate as your beneficiary for your insurance policy and retirement account. This is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of estate planning after a divorce has occurred and people remarry, so make sure that your accounts and plans are up-to-date with your currently selected beneficiaries. You may be surprised at what you find, as many of our clients are.

Next, make a list of the specific things and assets that you know you want to leave to your children. Our firm will work with you during this process to ensure that you are being specific enough about which items you want to leave to certain family members, because many people are not detailed enough. A failure to clearly outline who receives what can lead to disappointment and tension between your loved ones after you are gone. When you are considering what to do with your property after your death, keep in mind that leaving all of the property to your surviving spouse may not be the best decision. Every situation is different, but you must take into consideration the possibility that your children may end up without any property if you leave it all to your current spouse. There are certain methods that you can use to save on estate taxes, and our Pittsburgh estate planning lawyer can help you with this as well.

Call Frayer Law Offices today!

Until you have finalized your estate plan, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be followed. That is why we recommend taking action today to either start or finalize your estate plan. Call Frayer Law Offices today for an initial consultation to discuss your needs with a team that has been helping Pittsburgh residents since 1975!

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