Livens & Reed, PLLC

Estate planning decisions following a second marriage

For many people in Texas, determining how their estate will be divided is relatively straightforward. However, when a person remarries, there are special estate planning considerations that must be made. An attorney with experience regarding such issues can help ensure that a person's wishes are clearly understood and potentially able to withstand a legal challenge.

When a person remarries later in life, he or she must determine how the new spouse and any children will be treated in terms of asset distribution. If there are no legal documents in place, a spouse is entitled to a significant portion of assets. If a person wishes for a different form of distribution, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement must stipulate the terms.

It is also important to consider the division of other assets. For example, an IRA inheritance will go to the person named as beneficiary so it is important to change the beneficiary if necessary. For many families, the question of the couple's residence can be complicated. If a spouse passes away and owns the house, the surviving spouse may be left without a residence. In some cases, a homeowner may choose to leave the house to his or her children with the provisions that the surviving spouse be allowed to continue residing there.

Even for those with a relatively straightforward family situation, estate planning can sometimes be complex. A slight mistake or oversight could potentially lead to a challenge. By having an experienced attorney help draft relevant documents, people in Texas can help ensure that his or her wishes are known and followed after death.

Source:, "Second Marriage Money Dilemma", Jane Bryant Quinn, Accessed on May 5, 2016

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