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What Does My Second Marriage Mean for My Children’s Inheritance?

What Does My Second Marriage Mean for My Children’s Inheritance?

What a second marriage means for your child’s inheritance depends on the situation. Mixed families can present some issues when it comes to estate planning. At LKP, we can help you navigate complex problems that may arise in the context of your mixed family after you pass away.

LKP are experienced estate planning lawyers with clients throughout Nevada. If you need estate planning help, contact us for a free consultation by using our online contact form.

(As a separate but related matter, we should also mention that after a divorce, if you had any prior estate planning done, it may need to be changed to remove your former spouse (unless you maintain such former spouse as a beneficiary as part of a divorce, child support, or custody arrangement). The same goes for non-probate assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts.)

What are Estate Planning Issues if You Marry a Second Time?

If you and your new spouse both had children before your second (or most recent) marriage, estate planning can be more complicated. While you may want the best for your children, you will also wish to avoid conflicts with your new spouse. Your estate planning objectives may vary depending on if your new spouse is self-supporting (making it easier to justify leaving your children a larger inheritance) or if your new spouse would need the benefit of your assets to get by in the event you predecease your new spouse.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Review your existing estate plan. Creating a trust may be a way to support your kids and your second spouse upon your death.
  • There may be situations where your kids need financial help more than others. They may have physical, emotional, or psychological disabilities. They may need help with medical treatments. They may have chosen a respected career path that benefits society, but doesn’t pay well. These are situations where a trust is worth considering.
  • How old are your kids? If they’re minors, they may need your financial support more than if they are grown and have their own careers.
  • Is there a requirement as part of a divorce, child custody or support agreement that you include your kids from a prior marriage in your estate plan?

Given all the complexities, you should contact our firm before you marry so we can discuss what should be done to help you achieve your estate planning objectives.

 What Happens If I Have No Estate Planning Done?

If you pass away without a will (i.e., intestate) or other estate planning documents, under Nevada law your assets would pass to your next closest relatives, as determined and proportioned under the laws of Nevada then in effect. If you predecease your new spouse, this means your new spouse may receive a much larger share than your children, or all of your property depending on the character of your assets at the time of your death. If you survive your new spouse and die while you are unmarried, your children will be your next closest relatives, whether from your first or second marriage – there is no priority based on who your child’s other parent is.

 Can I Plan My Estate So the Children of My First Marriage Inherit Most or All of My Assets?

For those in a second marriage, it is usually a good idea to sign a marital or premarital agreement clarifying a spouse’s right to dispose of his or her own separate assets as he or she pleases. Without such, the surviving spouse could try to invoke community property laws to gain preference with respect to the deceased spouse’s assets. Under the state’s community property laws, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the couple’s community property, whether it is addressed as part of your estate plan or not.

 Get the Estate Planning Help You Need From Attorneys You Can Trust

LKP are highly experienced estate planning attorneys helping clients throughout Nevada. If you have questions or concerns about estate planning and marriage, contact us for a free consultation. Call us at 702-333-1711 or use our online contact form to discuss your situation with a Las Vegas, Nevada, estate planning attorney.

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The information provided on this website is not legal advice and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by use of the site or by submitting a contact form. None of the content on this website constitutes a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of any legal matter.

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