Creating an estate plan helps many families feel more at ease about the future. Estate planning is especially important for blended families and individuals who have remarried. If you are unsure how to begin updating or creating an estate plan, you need an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you decide what changes are needed and how to effectively protect the interests and financial standing of all those in your family.

If you already have an estate plan, a second marriage is the right time to review and update it. If you do not have an estate plan, the inheritance rights of many of your loved ones may be uncertain. Creating an estate plan can help ensure that your estate is managed properly and that your family members benefit from it.

Considerations in Your Estate Plan in a Second Marriage

Every family is unique, and what is right for you and your family after remarrying can vary significantly. Both you and your spouse may have families from prior marriages, so you may want to provide for your separate families as well as the one you may plan to create together. There are several important things you should consider prior to creating or altering your estate plan, and you should determine how they impact your family. Some of these considerations include:

  • What assets each of you wish to leave to the children you already have
  • Whether you want children together and what assets you would want to leave to them if so
  • If you each wish to provide your ex-spouses with inheritance rights
  • Which assets you want to remain separate assets, and which you want to turn into marital property
  • What debts you each bring
  • How each of you will update or create your estate plan
  • Whether you wish to create a joint estate plan
  • If you need more comprehensive estate planning tools beyond a will

The conclusions that you and your spouse reach on these will significantly impact how you alter your estate plan following remarriage. An attorney can help you review other circumstances that are specific to your family’s unique situation.

What You Should Do With Your Estate Plan After Remarriage

There are certain steps you should take after a second marriage or if you are considering remarriage. These steps can help ensure that you are protecting the interests of all your family members.

  1. Inventory your assets and debts, both separate and marital. You and your spouse can share this information as you create a separate or joint estate plan. Gathering proper documentation helps ensure accuracy and a thorough estate plan.
  2. Make decisions with your spouse about what finances you are keeping separate and what you are combining. You may want to create a marital agreement.
  3. Determine the inheritance rights and legal powers you want your spouse to have within your estate plan. This includes whether you want them to be a beneficiary, trustee, or an executor. You should also decide whether you want to give them powers of attorney.
  4. Review your beneficiaries of a trust, will, and individual accounts. Determine if you are able to change the beneficiary designations and if you want to.
  5. Determine if any assets are being left behind following changes to your estate plan. Make sure that assets have beneficiaries and that nothing in your estate will be subject to intestate law.
  6. Decide if you want to create a trust to protect the inheritance rights of your children.

An attorney can help you review the various aspects of an estate plan and what may change after remarriage.


Q: Does a Spouse Automatically Inherit Everything in Kansas?

A: A spouse may automatically inherit everything in Kansas if you die without a will and have no surviving children or descendants of a deceased child. However, if you pass without a will and have both a surviving spouse and any surviving children or descendants, your spouse will receive half of your estate, and the other half will be split between your surviving descendants.

These are the first steps in Kansas intestate law. You can avoid having your estate divided this way by writing a will or a more comprehensive estate plan.

Q: How Can You Protect Your Assets in a Second Marriage?

A: You can protect your assets in a second marriage by creating an estate plan or working with your spouse to create a marital agreement. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help protect your assets during your marriage and if you get a divorce. An estate plan can protect your assets after your death and ensure that the family members you wish to benefit from your assets do benefit from them.

Q: In Missouri, Is Inheritance Considered Marital Property?

A: In Missouri, inheritance is not considered marital property if it is given to only one spouse. Marital property includes all property that couples obtain throughout their marriage, except property from a gift, by descent, or by bequest, along with any property acquired in exchange for one of those types of property.

If the increase in value of your inheritance is caused by marital assets or marital labor, then that increase in value is considered a marital asset. An attorney has the resources to determine separate and marital property in your divorce.

Q: How Do I Protect My Child’s Inheritance in a Second Marriage?

A: To protect your child’s inheritance in a second marriage, there are several estate planning methods you can use. You can list the inheritance of your children, both those from a first marriage and any subsequent marriages, in your will. As long as the will is legally valid, it will distribute the assets accordingly. A stronger way to ensure that your children get the inheritance you wish them to have is through the use of revocable trusts. Trusts also keep the assets from probate.

Protecting Your Personal and Financial Rights With Estate Planning

The more complicated your familial situation is, the more useful a clear and comprehensive estate plan is. Blended families can run into difficulties in probate court, especially when the deceased left no clear wishes. You can save everyone in your family significant stress by outlining your wishes and keeping your estate out of probate court. An attorney can help you and your spouse determine the right options for an estate plan. Contact Stange Law Firm today.