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Review your estate plan before you remarry

If you're remarrying and haven't yet created an estate plan, now is the time to do so. It can prevent issues among your children, new spouse and previous spouse if you pass away or become incapacitated to the point where you're no longer able to speak for yourself.

If you already have an estate plan, good for you! Now you need to look it over with your estate planning attorney to make any necessary changes to reflect your new circumstances and prevent the problems noted above.

We all want to assume that our family members will handle things fairly and be generous to one another after we're gone. However, that's not always the case. Following are a few things that you should consider, although there are likely more, depending on your individual situation.

One common source of conflict in blended families after a parent dies is the kids' inheritances. Too often, because they combine assets with a second spouse, parents unintentionally disinherit their children. The widow or widower gets all of the jointly-owned assets and may or may not choose to share them with their stepchildren.

By putting assets that you intend your children to have in trust accounts, you can ensure that they will receive them. If both spouses have kids, they should each take that step.

Spelling out what happens to the family home if you die is also important. If you want to ensure that your new spouse can keep the home if you die, you can put it in a trust and designate that.

If you owe alimony and/or child support to your former spouse, or you just want to make sure that your ex gets a certain amount of your estate when you die, you should discuss with your estate planning attorney how best to do that. It's generally a good idea to keep some of your assets separate from your new spouse's so that you can designate what happens to them when you're no longer around.

While estate planning isn't something that most people enjoy including in their wedding preparations, it can prevent headaches, legal battles and added expenses for your loved ones later on. Sit down with your California estate planning attorney before you tie the knot again.

Source: Forbes, "Second Marriage And Estate Planning: 5 Things You May Not Have Considered," Mark Eghrari, accessed July 11, 2017

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