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Before Saying “I Do” The Second Time Around, Make a Plan

MP900430898Chances of a second marriage lasting ‘til death do us part’ aren’t great, according to the U.S. Census. Only 40% of second marriages make it, and a whapping 60% end in divorce.

Given these numbers, invest some time and serious thought to the business aspects of marriage, says Forbes in the article, “6 Second Marriage Planning Tips For You And Your Significant Other Before Walking Down The Aisle.” Start with practicing good communication, a trait that is needed to help any marriage succeed. Have a series of conversations well before setting a date to say, “I do.”

Let’s look at some tips for making sure your next marriage gets off on the right financial foot:

Be open. This means frank talk about your plans and obligations to any children and former spouses. Talk about your credit history, assets, debts and any financial support you must provide.

Look at your property. Review the assets that each of you will bring into the marriage and how they ultimately will be used or bequeathed.

Update your accounts. Be sure that all your records are up to date when you remarry.

Sign a prenup. This isn’t just to protect the assets of the wealthier spouse. It can be important if you both already have established careers, children or significant assets. A prenup lets you decide together and in advance, which assets you’ll share and those to keep separate, in case you divorce.

Work with an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she will help you retitle your investments, update your accounts and modify any beneficiaries on retirement, life insurance and annuity accounts. Since the probate laws aren’t typically designed for blended families, also be sure you create an estate plan, especially if you or your new spouse have children and grandchildren from previous marriages.

Without an estate plan, most probate laws stipulate that your assets will pass to your current spouse and then to his or her children, if you die first.

There are numerous ways that your estate planning attorney can ensure that your new spouse will be taken care of and that your assets will be passed onto your biological children, when the second spouse dies. You may both need a trust, or a marital trust to hold the assets to ensure they go to your children.

Chances are you and your intended will spend a lot of time and energy blending your families. Don’t put it at risk by failing to put a good estate plan in place.

Reference: Forbes (June 20, 2019) “6 Second Marriage Planning Tips For You And Your Significant Other Before Walking Down The Aisle”