Remarriage requires careful planning.
The holidays are a popular time for engagements.
Wedding plans may now in the works for you.
All marriages take careful planning and involve important discussions about finances and futures.
According to a recent U.S. News & World Report article titled “6 Financial Considerations for Remarriage,” these discussions are even more important if you are getting remarried.
What should you discuss with your fiancé?
When you blend a family, you are blending two family two units that likely have distinctly different spending habits and priorities.
It is important to create a plan together.
This should the mundane a conversation about daily and monthly expenses.
Do you have financial responsibilities from previous marriages?
Include these in your budget.
Outline your any debts, investments, or retirement accounts you will bring into the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement should be carefully considered and pursued.
What are the legal and financial responsibilities to your children and ex-spouse?
If you pay alimony and child support, inform your spouse of the amount before you get married.
If the child support you receive for children from your ex is decreased when you remarry, plan for how this will impact your family.
Insurance and benefits.
Certain family assets, like life insurance policies and transfer-on-death accounts, pass through beneficiary designations.
Revisit all of these, while you are at it.
You will also need to review health insurance, home owners insurance, and automobile insurance to ensure everyone is covered who needs coverage.
If you receive government benefits, they may be compromised if your remarry.
For example, you may be ineligible for Medicaid if the income of your spouse is too great.
You will forfeit your Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse if you remarry.
Do you have children attending college?
If your income is increase through remarried, then the calculus for federal financial aid will change.
It is important to discuss tuition costs together.
Remarriage requires new documents.
You will need to review and update your legal documents, to include any revocable living trust, last will, durable power of attorney, advance health care directives, and guardianship designations.
You now have a new spouse.
You also may have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
It will take careful planning to ensure that you do not disinherit those you love.
You can provide for your new spouse and your children, but it will take deliberate planning now to be successful later.
It is often wise in these situations to utilize a revocable living trust, if you do not have one already.
Your remarriage will require the support of loved ones and professional advisors.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you create and execute a strategic plan for yourself and all of your loved ones.
Reference: U.S. News & World Report (November 18, 2019) “6 Financial Considerations for Remarriage”