The increase in divorces that involve “older” Americans has caused a noticeable rise in the number of remarriages of seniors in Florida and throughout the country. Despite this fact, many of these seniors take a passive approach to changing their estate plans to reflect this life change.
Estate planning can become a complicated process in all situations. But older individuals entering into a new marriage face complications that, if not handled correctly, can result in trouble for the children they have from their first marriage, their new spouse, or someone else they love.
Planning ahead as a smart start
Individuals who die without updating their will may inadvertently set the stage for a battle between their children and the new spouse. If the only beneficiaries named in the will are children, a spouse could find themselves in a bad spot financially if the children do not decide to provide for them. It is much better to customize the plan to allow for a fair distribution of assets between a new spouse and children from a previous marriage.
Ensure your children are looked after
Another common mistake individuals make when entering into a second marriage is assuming that their new spouse will look out for the interest of their children from a first marriage. Many children have suffered misfortune because a deceased parent left assets for children and a spouse to share.
Estate planners may also forget to factor in the depletion of assets when planning for the future of their children. For example, a planner may leave assets to a spouse with the intent of the spouse turning the assets over to the children when they die. However, the planner may pass on assets with less value once it is in the hands of the children.
Many factors must be considered by estate planners deciding how to distribute assets after their death. An attorney experienced with the estate planning process will likely be of benefit to individuals tasked with providing for the future of their family after they are gone.