With the romantic month of February upon us have you and your significant other thought about marrying? Is this your second or third marriage? It is definitely a big step and now you have to think about a wedding venue, a ceremony and your family!! But how about your Florida estate plan? Do you know whether your remarriage will have an impact on your current estate plan? It could. If, in fact, you are planning to remarry, you should also consider reviewing your estate plan with your Florida estate planning attorney. We have three estate planning tips for if you plan on remarrying:
1: Plan separately. It may be best for you and your future spouse to do your estate planning separately, especially if either one or both of you have significant assets. Typically, in a first marriage the goals a couple have match and most couples jointly own their assets. However, this is not usually the case when dealing with remarriage and estate planning. You and your future spouse should have an honest conversation about your individual estate planning goals and make the decision together. If your goals are sufficiently similar, then you may be able to plan jointly. If they are significantly different, consider having separate attorneys.
2: Consider a QTIP trust. If you have significantly more assets than your soon-to-be spouse you should consider creating a QTIP trust. For example, when you remarry you and your spouse plan to live in your home. If you pass away, with a QTIP trust your spouse would continue to live in your home, but upon his or her death, your children, not the children of your spouse, would inherit the property.
3: Name a trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance. The trust can allow you to control when and to whom monies are distributed, so that you can provide for your spouse during his or her lifetime, and yet keep control over the proceeds. The trust can also protect your spouse from irresponsible spending, creditors, predators, and even estate taxes.
In addition to the above, know that when you remarry your goals and the goals of your future spouse may not be perfectly aligned, and the traditional methods for Florida estate planning may not work as well. For instance, you may decide to put your new spouse on the title of the home you own, so it is now considered jointly owned with the right of survivorship. Now if you pass away first, the home becomes the property of your spouse, without restriction. In addition, there may be no guarantee that he or she will pass it along to your children from your prior marriage.
Our final recommendation would be that before remarrying be sure to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We believe in a collaborative approach to helping our clients. This means that our assistance does not end with just legal help. We work closely with other senior providers to make sure all our clients’ needs are taken care of from start to finish. Our mission is to make sure every family feels that they have been taken care of, have peace of mind and have someone to lean on during difficult times.