Getting remarried can be an exciting time, filled with the promise of a new beginning and a brighter future. It’s not unusual to feel renewed hope and happiness as you start this new chapter. However, estate planning becomes more complex when you have a second marriage, especially if you have children.
Estate planning means ensuring your current spouse and your children are cared for after your death or incapacitation. It can be challenging, but ensuring a secure future and smooth transition for everyone involved is part of caring for your family.
Whether you are just starting the estate planning process or reviewing your current plan, this blog will provide information to help you understand your options. We will discuss the most significant challenges of estate planning in a second marriage and how you can create a fair and enforceable estate plan.
Common Challenges of Estate Planning with a Second Marriage
Marrying for a second time presents unique challenges when you are creating or revising an estate plan. Common challenges include:
- Balancing the interests of your new spouse, your previous spouse, and your children;
- Resolving conflicting wishes and expectations for the distribution of assets, including bank accounts and life insurance policies;
- Addressing potential property issues with prenuptial agreements;
- Titling and accounting for all assets, like farmland, 401(k)s, and IRAs;
- Dealing with complex tax issues, especially for high net-worth individuals;
- Considering long-term care insurance to pay for a nursing home or other healthcare for an older spouse; and
- Providing for a surviving spouse while leaving a fair share of the estate to children from a prior marriage.
Our lawyers have experience helping clients who have remarried craft or update their estate plans, and we can help you ensure your plan addresses these and any other concerns.
Second Marriage and Estate Planning in Tennessee: Protecting Your Assets in a Second Marriage:
Estate planning for a second marriage in Tennessee is subject to the laws and regulations of the state. Our lawyers devote time and effort to studying, analyzing, and adapting to new developments in the law and estate planning industry. Here are some of the most important things to consider for second marriages and estate planning in Tennessee:
- Estate tax. Tennessee does not impose an estate tax or inheritance tax. However, you may still need to plan for federal estate taxes.
- Wills. A will is a legal document that outlines how your property and assets will be distributed after death. If you do not have a will, anything you leave behind at death will go to your spouse and children according to state law.
- Trusts. Trusts are legal arrangements where a trustee holds and manages your property to benefit a beneficiary. You might use a trust to preserve your assets, reduce tax liability, and arrange for assets to be distributed after your death.
- Community property. Tennessee is not a community property state, so any property acquired during the marriage is typically considered to be the separate property of the spouse who acquired it. All of your separate property becomes part of your estate, so you’ll want to plan for who will receive that property.
- Pre- or post-nuptial agreements. Couples can use pre- or post-marital agreements to plan how they will divide property and assets at death or divorce. An attorney can help you create a valid prenuptial agreement that best protects your assets and children.
A qualified estate planning attorney in Tennessee can help ensure that your estate plan is efficient, complies with all applicable laws, and meets your needs.
What Is Fair in a Second Marriage and Estate Planning?
When estate planning after a second marriage, what is considered “fair” can vary significantly. Many factors affect what is fair, including the size of the estate, the wishes of the people involved, and whether there are any prenuptial agreements. However, there are a few considerations that can help you determine what is fair when you are making an estate plan after a second marriage:
- Providing for a surviving spouse. In many cases, it is considered fair to provide the surviving spouse with enough resources to maintain their standard of living.
- Protecting children from prior marriages. It is often considered fair to ensure that children from your prior marriage receive a fair share of the estate, either through a will, trust, or other estate planning vehicle.
- Taking into account prenuptial agreements. If there is a prenuptial agreement in place, it is considered fair to follow the terms of the agreement when creating an estate plan.
- Considering tax implications. Consider the tax implications of various estate planning vehicles to ensure that your plan is fair and efficient.
Ultimately, what is considered “fair” in a second marriage and estate planning depends on the specific circumstances of the individuals involved. Our estate planning lawyers will work with you to ensure that your estate plan protects your children, spouse, and assets.
Batson Nolan PLC: Estate Planning, Pre, and Post-Nuptial Agreement Attorney
Batson Nolan PLC can help you with every aspect of estate planning, from will preparation and revisions to building and administering trusts. Second marriages can make estate planning more complex, but our attorneys will devote themselves to developing a solution that is uniquely tailored to your needs. Our attorneys have decades of experience with Tennessee estate law and can help you confidently navigate the process. Remember, your estate plan is vital to ensuring a secure future for your loved ones, so don’t leave anything to chance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so that we can help you safeguard your family’s future.