If you are one of the many people in Massachusetts who has been divorced or widowed and are now contemplating getting married again, you will want to take steps to ensure that you plan ahead for the rest of your life. This involves making choices about how your assets will be distributed after you die. Fidelity Investments explains that estate planning is a highly important matter for remarried couples, especially if children are involved on one or both sides.
It is logical for you to want to leave some assets for your children and your grandchildren, if you have them. At the same time, it is normal for you to feel a desire to ensure your new spouse is financially cared for after you die. When your new spouse is not the parent of your children, you need to carefully outline who should receive what assets when. In lieu of a good estate plan, all assets may automatically go to your surviving spouse but they are not obligated to share anything with or save anything for your children.
Partners should have open conversations about all assets and debts they bring to a marriage, along with any responsibilities like alimony or child support. Once decisions are made about how an estate should be handled, family members should be informed. This may help to alleviate surprises and associated conflict after you die.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of proper estate planning before getting married for the second or subsequent time, please feel free to visit the blended families’ trusts and plans page of our Massachusetts estate planning website.