Burlington elder law attorneys provide assistance in making an estate plan that is appropriate for whatever your situation.Your personal family situation can have a profound impact on the type of planning that you need to do, so you should make certain that you get personalized help with using tools like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to protect your assets and to protect your family.
One of the most common situations which can create estate planning complications is a re-marriage. If you have already been married in the past, and especially if you have children from a prior marriage, getting married to someone else can create substantial complications that must be addressed during the estate planning process.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is here to help you address those complications. We know the ins-and-outs of estate planning for blended families and we will help you to make the choices that are right for you and your loved ones when you make an estate plan or when you update your plans that are already in place. Give us a call today to find out more about how Burlington elder law attorneys can help you.
Estate Planning Considerations for a Second Marriage
When you get married for the second time, one key step to take is to make sure you have made appropriate adjustments to any of your accounts or assets that might still have your former spouse as a beneficiary. Ideally, after a divorce, you will have taken steps like changing your will, changing the beneficiary on life insurance policies, and restructuring the ownership of assets so you and your ex were no longer joint owners. If you failed to take any of these steps to remove your former partner as a person who inherits, now is the opportune time to do that since you now have a new spouse who may be reliant upon you to help achieve financial security.
You also need to consider the implications of your marriage on any estate plan that you may already have in place. For example, if you had planned to leave money to your children from outside of the marriage, you may not be able to just leave your entire estate to your kids in your will any more. If you fail to make provisions that allow your new spouse to inherit after your death, your new spouse could exercise his or her spousal elective share. Spousal elective share means that the surviving spouse can either opt to inherit in accordance with your preferences in the will or can take a designated share of your property as determined by statute. Because of the spousal elective share, if you’ve left all your assets to your children, your new spouse could make a claim and take part of your estate anyway– unless you have made plans to make sure this does not happen.
You likely want to make changes to your estate plan, not only so you can make sure your wishes are actually respected and your spouse doesn’t exercise his or her elective share, but also because you may want to provide an inheritance for your new spouse. By leaving assets to your new spouse, you can avoid estate tax if you have a larger estate since an asset transfer to a spouse is not taxed. You can also make certain that your spouse is cared for if something happens to you.
There may also be a wide variety of other issues to address now that you are married, including the fact that your eligibility for investments in tax-advantaged retirement accounts may be different when taking your spouse’s income into account as well. You should get professional legal advice to make sure you understand and plan for all the estate planning implications of your marriage.
Getting Help from Burlington Elder Law Attorneys
Burlington elder law attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC are here to offer personalized advice on making an estate plan that is right for you and the people you love. Whether you need to make a plan for the first time or update an existing plan to account for your new family situation, we can provide the help and support that you require to put the law to work for you.
To find out more about the ways in which we can help with your estate planning process, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get help tailored to your family and financial situation. Give us a call now to get started.